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 Life at Abilene First
 
 Abilene First Church of the Nazarene                                 December 2017 
From Pastor Dave
    

John 1:14....."The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
 
As we kick off the 2017 Christmas Season at FCN, I want you to enjoy and be blessed by the following story from Crosswalk.com that goes in line with the theme for this year's advent season at FCN which is entitled "Unforgettable Christmas".






An Unforgettable Christmas.... Kathy A. Heiden The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
**A Christmas story based on the events of 1959 in the life of the author: **

 
Mrs. Heiden started her Sunday School lesson with a twinkle in her hazel eyes.

"Boys and girls," she began soberly, "I want you to think real hard about a question I'm going to ask in a minute."

Everyone turned to face their beloved teacher, waiting for her question. "What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?" she finally asked.

There was an unusual silence for several seconds as the children considered how they would respond. Some of the students tried to remember their presents from last Christmas, but for most of them, that information had slipped from their minds. Others were sure that this was a "trick" question and that Mrs. Heiden had a "religious" answer in mind. While her class was quietly thinking, Mrs. Taylor shared with them the story of her most memorable Christmas.

"In 1959, I was 7 years old," she began. "My family lived in Michigan then, where every winter is cold and snowy. We had recently moved to a new neighborhood and I was now attending a new school. I had not had time to make many friends yet, and I missed my cousins and old friends who now lived far from me.

"Just after Thanksgiving my dad lost his job. His employer said that he didn't have enough work to keep Dad on the job. Although he went out looking for work every day, there did not seem to be any jobs that were suitable for him. Each day, when my sister Donna and I got home from school, Dad seemed sadder and sadder. He hardly ever played with us anymore, and he went to bed awfully early each night.

"Soon after this, Mom started to give us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for supper each night. We were surprised by this change. Donna asked her why we didn't have chicken or spaghetti for supper any more, and she told us both quietly and firmly that with Dad out of work, she couldn't buy very many groceries. She made it quite clear that we would have to learn to be happy with whatever she could afford to buy. Mom seemed angry with us for asking her about it, so I made a decision not to question her again.

"As Christmas approached, Donna and I were excited about having a vacation from school, but even baby Mary seemed to recognize that our home wasn't as jolly as it usually was at this time of year. Everyone seemed to feel an emptiness. We didn't giggle and have hot chocolate any more-a favorite snack of mine. Mom never baked. Toast with a spoonful of jelly was our usual after-school snack during these days. There was no money to purchase extra treats.

"Two weeks before Christmas, Dad left with his rifle on a hunting trip. He took our only car, which made it a very lonely time for the rest of the family. A kind neighbor took Mom to the grocery store, but the rest of the time we were trapped at home. The weather forecast told us that it would be very cold, and to save on heat we wore sweaters and scarves in the house. With so much time inside, Donna and I argued constantly. Mom tried to ignore us, but much of the time she was very impatient. I was sure that Christmas would be ruined. We couldn't visit Grandma. Mom hadn't baked in weeks. We had no tree, no decorations, and with Dad gone we couldn't even go to Sunday School.

"On Christmas Eve, Dad returned without the deer he had hoped to shoot. There was no money for gas, for food, or anything else. Worst of all, there were no friends to enjoy, and no cheer.

"That evening, though, the most amazing happened. As it was snowing and blowing outside, we were startled by a hard knock on our front door. Before Dad could open it, we heard music. Opening the door, we saw several neighbor families surrounding the front of the house as they sang Christmas carols for us. Hearing them filled my heart with excitement. After they sang, Mom invited them inside the house to get warm. In they trooped with cookies, treats, thermoses of hot chocolate, and a wrapped present for each of us girls-even baby Mary. I saw one neighbor press an envelope into Dad's hand as his wife hugged Mom. Mom cried, Dad smiled, and we girls squealed with delight as we tore our presents open. I received a beautiful doll with long dark curls just like mine. I named her Gloria and took her with me wherever I went."

Mrs. Heiden paused. "That was many years ago, and I have received a lot of wonderful presents since then. Most I don't remember, though I was happy to receive them. What made that Christmas so memorable was that I thought everyone, even God, had forgotten us. God used our neighbors to show me that He still loved us no matter what happened in our lives.

"The best thing about Christmas is that it is Jesus' birthday, of course. Our Savior is the 'reason for the season.' After we read from our Bibles this morning in Sunday School, I want each of you to try to think of someone you can bless this Christmas as my neighbors once blessed me. That will make it an unforgettable Christmas for you."

This article is excerpted from the 2010 Digital Holiday Supplement from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
 
As we begin this Christmas season, let's take a moment of reflect on the text from John 1:14 which states; "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."  Ask yourself "What does this mean to me?"  That statement alone from God's Word alone are enough to change our Christmas Season but hey, the Christmas Season comes and goes so let's take it a step further....those amazing words from John 1:14 alone are enough to change our lives, our families, our community and our church. I will leave that there for now. I will preach the rest during the month of December as we journey to an "Unforgettable Christmas."
 
In the words of Tiny Tim,
"God Bless us everyone"

Loving you and Lifting you,
PD

Holiday Dinner


On Sunday, December 3, we will celebrate the holidays with a Holiday Dinner after the Morning Worship Service.  The church will provide the ham and turkey. 
Please bring side dishes, salads and desserts.   Come enjoy food and fellowship!

Pastor Appreciation Day

Along with the Holiday Dinner on Sunday, December 3, we will also celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day.   We  will honor Pastor Dave and Pastor Sherry and their spouses.  Baskets will be available to receive cards, gift cards, etc. before the Sunday Morning Worship Service.  Let's show how much we appreciate our Pastors and their ministry!
Singspiration & Christmas Cookie Fellowship

Sunday, December 10, at 6:00 p.m.--Come and share your favorite Christmas song, whether instrumental or song, or share a favorite Christmas reading.  Singspiration will be followed by a Christmas Cookie Fellowship in the Dining Room.  Bring your favorite Christmas treats to share with everyone. Coffee, hot chocolate, and yes, milk will be provided.  

Christmas & New Years Holiday Schedule

 
Children's Department

  Hello everyone! 
 
Merry Christmas! Here's a look at what is happening with the children's department this month.
 
The kids have a performance in the cantata on Sunday, December 17, during the morning service. The children's Christmas party is Wednesday, December 20. I will have more details closer to the date to share. 
 
I'd like to thank everyone who came out and supported the kids at their Caravan badge ceremony last month. Also, a huge thank you to Kevin, Cindy, Julie, and Bill for all you do! 
 
Next month, we have our Annual Chili Cook-off and Gift Basket Auction. Start perfecting those recipes now and coming up with basket ideas. This fundraiser helps both the kids and the teens. 
 
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May God bless you and your families. 
 
Carrie Turnbow

Nazarene Missions International
NMI Logo

NAZARENE COMPASSIONATE MINISTRIES

Following the example of Jesus, NCM partners with local Nazarene congregations around the world to clothe, shelter, feed, heal, educate, and live in solidarity with those who suffer under oppression, injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, and disease. NCM exists in and through the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all people.
 
December is Compassionate Ministries Emphasis month in the Church of the Nazarene. The Board of General Superintendents designated December to encourage a spirit of compassion and personal involvement among Nazarenes everywhere. NCM's prayer is that social holiness would erupt in every local church and that we could come alongside faithful members and resource them to serve.
 
I will be sharing more throughout the month about ways FCN is and will in the coming months support Compassionate Ministries locally and through NCM. 
 
JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. I challenge you to reach out and help someone who is lost, hurting, and needing someone to care!
 
Gayla Hastings
NMI President  

WYBT Youth

Merry Christmas! 
 
We are almost at the end of another year and as always it is time to look back at what we have done over the past year.
 
The youth group only had one graduate this past May but in August we gained 3 from the children's department.
 
We did not attend summer camp this year but Kevin and I were able to take 4 youth to Indiana for General Assembly and to work One Heart Many Hands. What an amazing trip this was to see the youth we had present come together and work as a group.
 
Something new we started with the youth was delivering box meals to truck stops. The first and second time we took them to gas stations and the Greyhound bus stop.  What an amazing blessing this has been. We ask if there is anything we can pray for and this is a few of the prayer requests we have received: 1) Moms and for people with cancer, 2) for my best friend - was in a motorcycle accident, 3) that I can finish school strong, 4) that my leg will get better (MR), 5) my mom has been sick for a long time (D), 6)my son that is struggling with life in general, and 7) for us truck drivers that are out on the road.
 
We have maintained our somewhat busy schedule and would like to thank everyone for donations, buying food at the concession stand, bidding on baskets, the Valentine banquet and generally just loving on these kids.
 
I personally would like to take a moment to say thank you for all your love and support you have given me and my family as I have gone through the classes and attempted different responsibilities at the church. I could not have asked for a better church family. Prayers as we celebrate the one and only true reason for the Christmas season: The birth of our Lord and Savior. Prayers as we get ready to enter a new year and let the fun begin all over again.
 
Your Sister in Christ,
Pastor Sherry

FCN Book Club

The next FCN Book Club meeting will be  Monday, December 4 , at Mad Coffee and More located at  8049 Hwy 83/84 (the corner of FM 707 & Hwy 83/84) at 6:30 p.m.   The group is reading "Wreck the Halls' by Sarah Graves.  This Christmas cozy mystery is available at amazon.com for $.99 (electronic) or $7.97 (paperback).
 
After the  December 4  meeting, the group will not meet again until  Monday, January 8, 2018 .  During our Christmas break we will be reading 'The Nightingale' by Kristen Hannah.  (This is a longer book than we would normally read but, since we're taking a month off, there should be plenty of time to complete it before the next meeting).
 
Contact Carol Hehn for more information.  

Prime Timers (Sr. Adult) Fellowship
Prime Timers Logo


There will be no Prime Timers fellowship during the month of December.  We look forward to meeting again in January.


Online Sunday Morning Services

 

Our Sunday morning Worship Services can be found online!  Go to:

 

 http://www.fcnabilene.org/sermons and click on

 

"First Church of the Nazarene on Livestream"


 

You can view on a computer or any device through the Livestream app found at the App Store, Google Play, or Roku.  Click on the appropriate link to download your app.

 

December Calendar

Are you missing out?   Check out events on the FCN Calendar.  See the events and times listed (they are even color coded)!
 
December Birthdays & Anniversaries

 

Birthdays 

  8  Dwight Aston

12  Karalyn King
      Mark Thornburg

20  Renea Thomas

21  Paisley Brooks

27  Freda Bailey
      Ed King

29  Lola Maxwell

30  Sherry Seigman
Anniversaries
 
  4  Mike & Jo Mort

  9  Brian & Sierra Lindquester

27  Barry & Becky Camarillo




From the Staff and Ministry Leaders of
Abilene First Church of the Nazarene
www.fcnabilene.org
325.677.9429