No Room In the Inn? Really?

Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

These are the days of Christmas Pageants. Children and adults all over the world will perform plays, musicals, and live nativity scenes. One of my favorite stories about such pageants is about a 9-year old who played the Innkeeper. The young boy worked hard on memorizing his only line. When Joseph knocked on the door of the inn, with Mary about to give birth to the Messiah, the innkeeper was to announce: “There’s no room in the inn.”

Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

These are the days of Christmas Pageants. Children and adults all over the world will perform plays, musicals, and live nativity scenes. One of my favorite stories about such pageants is about a 9-year old who played the Innkeeper. The young boy worked hard on memorizing his only line. When Joseph knocked on the door of the inn, with Mary about to give birth to the Messiah, the innkeeper was to announce: “There’s no room in the inn.”

On the day of the program, when it came time for his famous line, the boy, in a moment of spontaneous compassion, blurted out “Don’t go away, Joseph! You and Mary and the baby can have my room!” (Some members of the church felt the pageant was totally ruined. Others felt it was the best adaptation ever.)

The Good News is that God has given us the desire to say of our HEARTS: “there is room for Jesus in my heart!”

We only have to look around the highway nearby (Route 75) to understand the trend in highway construction: to improve and expand already existing highways. In a way, the Bible calls us to do this for our spiritual lives.

We need to improve and expand our spiritual lives! We can do this by fine tuning our spiritual lives by strictly following the Ten Commandments, by adopting the values and behaviors of the Beatitudes, by living the such divine values as generosity and many others, especially FORGIVENESS!!!

But repairing our spiritual lives has never been enough. So God came up with a completely new way to improve our spiritual lives. Instead of trying to repair our spiritual lives, God constructed a new highway, a new road, a new “WAY.” This WAY is Jesus Christ himself, who said “I am the Way.” Jesus is the new road to becoming connected with God in this life. Jesus is the WAY to eternal life!

In these days of Christmas pageants, we do well to remember that God gave us a new highway: Jesus. God gave us this new way as the way to true, divine LOVE!

Christ comes down to enter our hearts. But our busyness, our sin, our temptations, (along with our free will) give us the opportunity to say, “There’s no room in my heart. There’s no time in my life for Jesus.”

By God’s grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we also have the opportunity to say, “Lord Jesus, come in and stay in my heart! I give you my life! I give you my time!”

What a great prayer for the beginning of each day: “Lord Jesus, come in and stay in my heart!”

TONIGHT at Praise Chapel – Blaine & Christine Bowman

Come and enjoy a great night of “Praise & Worship” with Blaine & Christine Bowman! Join us for a fun filled night of fun and laughter at Praise Chapel, on West Broadway in North Baltimore, Ohio!

Come and enjoy a great night of “Praise & Worship” with Blaine & Christine Bowman! Join us for a fun filled night of fun and laughter at Praise Chapel, on West Broadway in North Baltimore, Ohio!

We are having a “Special” service on a Tuesday night at 7:00pm. Blaine and Christine were nice enough to fit us in to their Christmas tour this year!

We are looking forward to a great service.

Coffee and refreshments will be served after service.

PCG Bowman Flyer

 

TODAY – Christmas Dinner & Dessert Concert

Call for TICKET INFO – The Maranatha Bible Church west of Van Buren, Ohio will present “Hope Can Change Everything!” in a Dinner and Dessert Concert format – all are invited!

The Maranatha Bible Church west of Van Buren, Ohio will present “Hope Can Change Everything!” in a Dinner and Dessert Concert format – all are invited!

The event is Sunday, December 14 at 6:00 pm. The church is located at 10965 SR 613, Van Buren, OH 45889.

The doors open at 5:30 pm.

Tickets are $20.

Call 419-299-3911 for more information or reservations.

Maranatha Christmas flyer

“No Room for Jesus” – a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 NIV).

“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 NIV).

Have you ever wondered why there wasn’t any room for Jesus’ parents on the night he was born?  After all Jesus was the King of the Jews, Almighty God, and Prince of Peace. You would think royalty should have been born in a palace that night and not in a place where all the animals were kept. He was placed in a manger, a place where the animals ate hay. Mary could have announced to the inn keeper that she was with child and was carrying the one who would “save his people from their sins”. (Matthew 1:21 NIV)

The angel told Joseph that their child would be called Immanuel, meaning God with us. (Matthew 1:23) Seems like they could have thrown some weight around to get a four star hotel by just saying Mary was carrying God’s child, but they did not. It also seems to me that God could have performed His own miracle by providing a more suitable place for Jesus to be born, but He did not.

Instead, Jesus was born in a lowly manger. He came to earth to be a servant and later in His ministry would not even have a house to live in. His whole purpose was to heal the sick, cast out demons, preach about the Kingdom of God, and save people from their sins. God was in control on that night Jesus was born, and knew His son would be blessed by being born in a manger and raised by parents who were ordinary people. God had a plan, and Mary and Joseph trusted Him.

Broughton  von_honthorst_adoration_shepherds_800x683

So do you have any room for Jesus in your life? This is a busy time of year. There is so much to do: buy presents, send Christmas cards, decorate the house, go to parties, have parties; to name a few. This Christmas take time every day to be alone with Christ to pray, and reflect on how you can be a true blessing to others this season.  Don’t get so busy with preparations that you turn into a mean spirited person because you feel stressed out. If you focus on Jesus and what He wants you to do and act like, then your life will reflect that love to everyone during this hectic time.

If you pray, Jesus will give you peace and that peace will be passed on to others. Show Jesus’ love this season to everyone and continue to be a blessing. Make sure you make room for Jesus in your life and trust Him.

Dear Lord,

This season can become hectic, and it is really easy to forget that we are to be an example of your love always. Help us to take time to be still in your presence every day, so that we can show others your love and your peace. Help us to always make room for Jesus in our hearts.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Has One Person Ever Received All of the Gifts?

Pastor Jon Rhinehart at Praise Chapel PCG says – We have been having some great services and the Holy Spirit is teaching us a lot. I am excited to see how the Holy Spirit will use this body of believers to make an impact in our community!

Sunday Sermon Title:

Spiritual Gifts Sermon Series-“Has One Person Ever Received All of the Gifts?”

Note from the Pastor:

I have been preaching a sermon series on “Spiritual Gifts”. We have been having some great services and the Holy Spirit is teaching us a lot. I am excited to see how the Holy Spirit will use this body of believers to make an impact in our community!

The gifts and the knowledge that we have received during these last couple of weeks have been amazing! The church is looking forward to being used by God in all areas of their lives. It is time to receive everything that Jesus has already provided for us. Come to Sunday school and Worship service this week and be blessed!

God Bless,

Pastor Jon & Theresa Rhinehart

Service Times:

9:30 am Sunday School (Discipleship Class) by Pastor Jon

(Adult & Children classes)

10:30 am Sunday Worship Service(Adult & Children services)

Praise Chapel PCG

P.O. Box 254

500 W. Broadway St.

(419) 408-HOPE (4673) Prayer & Info Line

jrhinehart67@gmail.com

http://pastorjonrhinehart.blogspot.com/

 

“Our Lives Have Changed”

A devotion from Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

The New York Times reported a story many years ago about David Storch, a music teacher who borrowed a special copy of the score of Handel’s Messiah from the Brooklyn Public Library. Due to a clerical error, no one entered it into the records that he had checked it out. As a result, when people came to ask to see the copy, the librarians looked all over the library and couldn’t find it.

The librarians were often very frustrated as people asked for this copy of Handel’s Messiah. But one day David Storch returned what he had borrowed. He was shocked at the reaction of the clerk on the other side of the desk! As she took it from him, the librarian, shouted in her loudest voice, “The Messiah is here! The Messiah is here!” Every person in the Brooklyn Public Library turned to see what was going on.

The New York Times, reported that within a very few minutes, everyone had noticeably returned to their own work. The excitement was over.

I believe the words of the librarian: the Messiah is here! I’m referring to the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, not the musical score. I believe he came into our world some 2000 years ago. We’re beginning to celebrate an event these which had planned from almost the beginning, when God promised a Savior, a Redeemer.

What we’re celebrating this month is that God stepped into time. God came down, known forever as Jesus. Jesus is God’s promise. Jesus is the Messiah, the one who offers forgiveness, redemption, and eternal life.

I firmly believe that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is present in our daily lives. This is cause for great joy! Shouting even! Our lives are changed because Jesus enters our lives on a daily basis

In the next several weeks, we’re supposed to shout, so to speak, “The Messiah is here! The Messiah is here!” Unfortunately, there are louder and seemingly more appealing shouts, which are sometimes covered with glitter, colored lights, and gift-wrap. (Nothing wrong with that, but they CAN get a little too loud, helping us to forget the real message.)

I’d like to ask this of us today: after Christmas this year, will we return to our lives “as usual.” Or will the celebrating of the coming of the Messiah into our lives make a difference this year?

I hope and pray that this Christmas WILL make a difference in our lives! Messiah is here!

Back to work as usual? Or will we become more spiritually mature, and closer to God? Let’s get closer to God, by celebrating the birth of Christ Jesus!

Lutheran Church News — St. Luke’s (NB) & St. John’s (McComb) – Dec. 7

“Preparing the Way” based on Isaiah 40:1–11 is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran NB and St. John’s McComb.

Lutheran Church News — St. Luke’s (NB) & St. John’s (McComb) – Dec. 7

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

“Preparing the Way” based on Isaiah 40:1–11 is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore on Sunday, December 7 at 10:15 a.m. The second candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit and the second felt flame will be added to the Advent Banner at the opening of worship to celebrate the Second Sunday in Advent. The Senior Choir will sing an anthem “Emmanuel, God With Us” The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated as traditional “Table Communion.”

Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.

On Saturday, December 6, the cast and crew of this year’s Youth Christmas musical, “Signs of Christmas” will hold the first rehearsal from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Some members of St. Luke’s will be singing in the community cantata “I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” at the Elmwood Community Center Auditorium on Sunday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

“Preparing the Way” based on Isaiah 40:1–11 is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. John’s Lutheran Church in McComb on Sunday, December 7 at 8:00 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. The second candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit at the opening of worship to celebrate the Second Sunday in Advent. Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m. (a joint Sunday School with the McComb United Methodist Church).

Can One Christian Have All of the Gifts?

Pastor Jon Rhinehart at Praise Chapel invites you to join in for worship and study at PCG on West Broadway in North Baltimore, where he is preaching a sermon series on “Spiritual Gifts”. Last week, he spoke on who can have spiritual gifts and are they still available to us. The Bible teaches that we are supposed to be disciples and that we are to make disciples.

Sunday Sermon Title: 

Spiritual Gifts Sermon Series-“Can One Christian Have All of the Gifts?”

Note from the Pastor:

I have been preaching a sermon series on “Spiritual Gifts”. Last week, I spoke on who can have spiritual gifts and are they still available to us. The Bible teaches that we are supposed to be disciples and that we are to make disciples. All of this is done through the power of The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given as a comforter for the church. This was after Jesus went to sit down next to His Father in Heaven. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to do any of the Christian walk.

God has established, through scripture, what the gifts are and that they are available to all Christians. The Bible demonstrates that we can operate in multiple gifts and all of the gifts of the Spirit. God knows that we need help in this present time. Who will need help when they are in Heaven? I encourage you to come and learn about the gifts of the Spirit. I am confident that you will be blessed and encouraged to dig deeper into the Word of God!

God Bless,

Pastor Jon

Service Times: 

9:30 am Sunday School (Discipleship Class) by Pastor Jon

(Adult & Children classes)

10:30 am Sunday Service(Adult & Children services)

Pastor Jon & Theresa Rhinehart

Praise Chapel PCG

P.O. Box 254

500 W. Broadway St.

(419) 408-HOPE (4673) Prayer & Info Line

jrhinehart67@gmail.com

http://pastorjonrhinehart.blogspot.com/

Prince of Peace: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

Jesus came on earth to give us peace. His whole ministry was offering peace to those around him. He healed the sick, preached that people needed to love their neighbors and enemies, told the people not to worry, but to trust God, and calmed a storm by just speaking, “Be still”.

Prince of Peace: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).

Jesus came on earth to give us peace. His whole ministry was offering peace to those around him. He healed the sick, preached that people needed to love their neighbors and enemies, told the people not to worry, but to trust God, and calmed a storm by just speaking, “Be still”.

These are just a few examples of how he displayed peace. If you read the account of his sentence and crucifixion, you will notice that he displayed peace in front of his accusers also.

This peace that Christ displayed is also available to you. Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27 NIV). In the Beatitudes Jesus spoke: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV). Jesus wants us to have peace and display it for others to see.

Since this peace is always there for us all the time. Do you feel it and portray it? Is there something in your life right now that is making peace difficult to find?  Is your peace being thwarted by your own personal problems? Sickness, death of a loved one, financial problems, and chronic pain are just a few things that can take away your peace. But you must realize that the peace Christ has to offer you is still there.

Whenever I start fretting and worrying and complaining about my problems, I know that I can start spiraling downward into despair. I have learned to say to my self, “Stop it!” and then I pray in earnest for Christ to fill me with His peace. The most important thing for you to do when you are in a downward spiral of despair is to call upon the Lord to fill you with His peace, because it will happen. Trust me, because I have been in the miry pit of despair before, and He has filled me with a peace that I cannot even describe to you. He is definitely my Prince of Peace.

So the next time you feel as if the world is falling in all around you, remember that your Prince of Peace is only a prayer away and will give you the peace that you so desperately need.

Dear Lord,

There are many things in life that can threaten our peace. Help us to know that you will never abandon us in our time of need, and that your peace is available if we take time to calm down and pray.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

 

The 18th Annual Elmwood Community Choir Christmas Concert

The Elmwood Community Choir will be presenting its 18th Annual Christmas Concert – “I Am the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End”

The Elmwood Community Choir will be presenting its 18th Annual Christmas Concert – “I Am the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End”

– on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Elmwood Community Center Auditorium.

This concert will be highlighting songs from each of the past 17 Christmas cantatas presented by the Choir.  It will also be featuring soloists from the past including:  Terry Gonyer; Pastor Timothy Sherman; Cora Lee; John Reynolds III; Bob & Janet Garner; Sharon Casey; Doug, Gail, Jacob and Jonah Houtz; Dr. Leah Dorman; and Carol Nungester.

The concert is under the direction of Dean Bell, with Assistant Director, Zackery Deininger.  Narration will be provided by Dale David.  The annual event is underwritten by the North Baltimore Area Cooperative Ministries and is provided free to the public.  A freewill donation will be accepted to help defray costs.

Elmwood Community Choir Chirstmas 2014 flyer

Remembering Your Blessings

by Pastor Ralph Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran

A person had a dream that involved a tour of Heaven.

by Pastor Ralph Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran

A person had a dream that involved a tour of Heaven.

The angel-guide, first took the dreamer to the “Receiving Station.” This was a tremendously BUSY place with constant activity. The angel explained that this is where prayer requests from Earth-people were received. There were requests for healing, comfort, peace of mind, joy of heart, reconciliation, strength, wisdom, to name only a few. The angel said, “The requests never stop piling in!”

Then the angel led the dreamer to “Packaging and Delivery.” Again, this was a BUSY place, even busier that the “Receiving Station.” This is the section where angels prepared God’s blessings and answers for delivery to the people on Earth. The dreamer asked why this was so much busier that the “Receiving Station.” The angel said, “God always sends a lot more blessings than are requested!”

The final part of the tour was the “Acknowledgement Section.” This section wasn’t so busy. There were a few angel-workers, but the activity level was low. “What’s happening here?” the dreamer asked. The angel said that this is the place for receiving THANKS for the blessings.

The dreamer woke up, realizing that it was time to remember all the blessings and give thanks more often. So the dreamer made an ornate box, and listed life’s blessings received in the past and in the present. The dreamer tried to remember every blessing received from “Packaging and Delivery.”

The dreamer then added to the “Blessing Box” every day! And everyday, the dreamer said a prayer of thanksgiving, so that the “Acknowledgment Section” would be active!

Perhaps you, dear reader, could make such a “Blessing Box” or a “Blessing Jar.” You could add a note everyday with something you’re thankful for. Our lives are better when we daily give thanks to God for the blessings of our lives. (Every once in a while, you could read through all of your notes, and give thanks again!)

As Thanksgiving 2014 approaches, let’s resolve to make a “Blessing Box” and make giving thanks a routine part of our daily lives! May God bless you abundantly!

Thanks be to God. Amen!

Lutheran Church News — St. Luke’s (NB) & St. John’s (McComb) – Nov. 29

”You Have Every Spiritual Gift You Need” (based on First Corinthians 1:3–9) is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore on Sunday, November 30 at 10:15 a.m.

The first candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit and the first felt flame will be added to the Advent Banner at the opening of worship to celebrate the First Sunday in Advent.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church

”You Have Every Spiritual Gift You Need” (based on First Corinthians 1:3–9) is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in North Baltimore on Sunday, November 30 at 10:15 a.m.

The first candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit and the first felt flame will be added to the Advent Banner at the opening of worship to celebrate the First Sunday in Advent.

The Junior Choir will sing an anthem titled “Rejoice Evermore.”

Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.

Following worship, members will decorate the sanctuary for Christmas.

Church and community members are invited to a “Healing Service” at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, November 30. The service, which includes anointing with oil, is for those with specific requests for healing, as well as an opportunity to pray for others in need of healing.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

”You Have Every Spiritual Gift You Need” (based on First Corinthians 1:3–9) is Pastor Ralph Mineo’s sermon topic at St. John’s Lutheran Church in McComb on Sunday, November 30 at 8:00 a.m.

The first candle of the Advent Wreath will be lit at the opening of worship to celebrate the First Sunday in Advent.

Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m. (a joint Sunday School with the McComb United Methodist Church).