Christmas Begins with Christ

Christmas is celebrated around the world. Each culture has a slightly different version of it. To those who have grown around a Filipino community, Christmas begins as early as September, popularly known as the start of the “BER” months.    

Being one of the most important events in the Christian calendar, Christmas is surrounded by arguments and controversy. During this time you will hear arguments about the exact birth date of Christ, the inclusion of the Nativity Scene in Christmas trees, whether to use “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”, or making sure Christ is not eliminated from Christmas by writing it as “X-Mas”. 

However, this season is not about winning an argument. It is about winning the hearts of men. 

Our series this year is titled, “Christmas Begins with Christ”. Our desire as a church community is to highlight the person and work of Jesus. It is easy to get distracted in this season wherein the world offers diverse alternatives. Ask 10 people around what this day means to them and you’ll probably get 10 or more different answers. 

 

Remember these three things Christians have to emphasize on what this season is about. 
 

Christmas is a Promise

 

Throughout the Old Testament, God promised a savior who will save the world. From the garden of Eden, through the lives of the patriarchs, and through the words of the prophets, Christ has been foretold and previewed. You have to know that Jesus is the Son of God long before He was born to Mary.

On the day Jesus was born, God has finally brought into fruition what He has promised to His people generation after generation. Christ has come, the savior of the world. 

 

Christmas is about Hope

If you are feeling down and hopeless, this is a time to reflect on the promises of God in your life. Let all the sounds and smells of this season point you to the faithfulness of God. Remember His goodness and His providential care. Keep the hope alive and burning in your heart. What He has promised, He will do! 

Begin with a quick google search on the promises of God in the Bible. Try this now and get blown away by the result!
 

Christmas is about Family and Community

The Nativity is a powerful picture of what Christmas is really about. While the focuses on lights, food, and acquiring material things, the first Christmas pictures family and community bound by a purpose. We can see that heaven and earth have come together to witness God’s greatest promise: to save the world from the death caused by sin. 

Keep reaching out to your family members and to the people in your sphere. Let them experience the love of Christ through your speech and actions. Make all efforts to make Him known, especially at this time of the year.

It is our hope that in this season, more than anything else, make Christ the reason why we gather, give gifts, and celebrate. Let us keep in mind that when God makes a promise, He is sure to fulfill it. 


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Thank You, Jesus!

We are excited for this year’s Thanksgiving! There is no better way than to celebrate this season than with all the people we are thankful for. 
 
Different cultures and traditions set aside time in their calendars to give thanks for blessings even before the establishment of the Thanksgiving Celebration. A good harvest, success in government and even for a newborn baby became some common reasons for people to hold a special day for the purpose of expressing gratitude.  In America, Thanksgiving Day was established to commemorate the Pilgrims and their first harvest. Thus, it was originally called Harvest Festival. 
 
To us believers, Thanksgiving comes naturally. It is a part of our new nature in Christ. To feel grateful is the response of the heart once it realized how good God is. Therefore, we’d like to share with you three things we are grateful for this Thanksgiving. 
 
The Finished Work of Christ
If there is one reason we celebrate this day, we can all say that the work of Christ is more than enough to be thankful for. People are hopeless on our own but through Christ, they now have a reason to keep going. We keep pursuing the expansion of His kingdom here on earth. We stand as lights that point to Christ and the salvation He offers to anyone who believes in Him. 
 
 
 
Our JRM-Vallejo Community
Whenever we think of the people entrusted to us at JRM-Vallejo, we could not help but thank God for the way he brings people together. We are grateful for all the volunteers and workers in the different ministries in our community. Your hard work and dedication is a fuel to our desire to do our best for His glory. You are all awesome! 
 
In a smaller scale, we are also thankful for each family that has become an integral part of the church. We are thankful for the fathers and mothers who entrust the young people and the children to our Youth Ministry and Sunday School Ministry. We appreciate your resolve to bring the family to Christ, to know Him and to pursue His will. 
 
God’s Faithfulness and Providence
When God guides us to do something for Him and His kingdom, it always accompanies provision. Throughout the years, God has been so faithful to us in providing what we need to continue in the work entrusted to us. This year, we’ve created events and celebrations that allowed us to share the gospel to the more people and God has provided. Indeed, if it is His will, it is His bill. 
 
When it comes to our Thankful List, we feel that the list will just go on and on. God is alive and He is doing wonderful things in our midst. He is actively  working on the lives of the people whose hearts have been devoted to Him. 
 
Thank you, Jesus!
 
 

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Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
 
One of the most controversial issues around this time of the year in the Christian sphere is the celebration of the Halloween. The different approach Christians have on this day have divided leaders and christian communities over the years. 

Halloween is rooted in the Celtic Tradition of sacrificing to the gods in the summer. It is also regarded as the beginning of the Celtic year. During this time it is believed that the lord of death, Samhain, sends evil spirits to attack humans. The only way humanity can survive this phenomenon is to dress up and wear disguises as evil spirits and evil creatures.

Early Christians tried to redirect the focus of the world from the evil spirits through the remembrance of the sacrifices done by great saints and martyrs during this period. Today, due to the heavy influence of the media and marketing approaches, it is impossible to simply ignore Halloween. Christians have adopted it and encouraged children to refrain from the scary costumes to fun costumes like princesses, animals, and superheroes.

What then should we do as Christians during this time the whole world is crazy about evil spirits, horror stories and other similar stuff?

Educate

Truth is our weapon. Act according to the Word and you will not be deceived. This is a great time to emphasize the power of God over darkness, to magnify His goodness over the evils of this world; to preach that the spirit of fear does not come from the Lord.

Reach Out

Rather than avoiding this day altogether, it is best for Christians to be proactive in providing a better alternative for the children and the young people. Instead of succumbing to fear and terror, let Christians create an event that is encouraging and full of joy. Let the Holy Spirit bring joy to the hearts of the people.

Intercede

Aside from the need to create a better alternative for our community, this is also a great time to pray for people and the community the church is in. Let believers stand in the gap for those who celebrate this day not knowing its roots and the intentions behind it. This is the time we go to the Father, with love in our hearts, and ask Him to move into the lives of the people who unknowingly invite evil in their lives.
Should Christians then celebrate Halloween? Absolutely not. At least not for the same reason the world does. Instead of alienating everyone for the sake of being right, we present a much better option. We make every effort to make Jesus known. We become active, especially on this day, in showing the world that we have a Good Father who brings peace, comfort and joy. 

If there is one last thing we can say, do not let this day create further divisions among brothers and sisters in Christ. Our guiding principle must be that if we ever participate or create an event around Halloween, we should always “put on” Christ. And that whatever we do, we do all things as to the Lord.


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Tarrying Nights – October 2019


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Men’s Breakfast Fellowship


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Fall Retreat 2019


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Feeding Our Friends in Need


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19th Year Anniversary Celebration


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Mission Trip at Bulan, Sorsogon

DAY 1: Feeding Program

 

Day 2: Church Service

Day 2: Dinner with Pastors


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Illumination: How the Truth of the Scripture is Revealed to Our Hearts

Welcome to Part III of the series Txt Msg. Our topic for this Sunday is Illumination: How the Truth of the Scripture is Revealed to Our Hearts. May the Truth bring light to our hearts and bring us closer to our Savior! 

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