January 2023 - In This Issue:
It is believed that more good things have been done in the month of January of each year than any other month. It’s the first month of the year and it gives people a chance to regroup and to start afresh and anew. The New Year brings opportunity to begin again.

In Roman mythology, the god Janus was depicted as having two faces that looked in opposite directions, because he was the god of beginnings and endings, and of portals. It is said that the face that looked back into the past year wore an expression filled with sorrow and disappointment. The other face looked into the future and wore an expression of hope and confidence. 
January which takes its name from Janus, is a time in which we look in both directions: Past to our disappointments and to the future with great hope and expectancy.

There are many people that live their lives gripped with fear and superstition. As we embrace a New Year there are many that are gripped with a deep foreboding fear. People go to great lengths trying to alleviate their fears! It is estimated that 20 million Americans carry a rabbit’s foot. (Although it wasn’t very lucky for the rabbit) People have all sorts of notions about bad luck and misfortunes that will befall them unless they take the necessary precautions to counteract them. 

  • Enter or leave a house with your left foot is thought to be unlucky.
  • Break a mirror and you will have 7 years bad luck.
  • Spilling salt is bad luck unless you throw a pinch over your shoulder.
  • Throwing your hat on the bed is bad luck.
  • Laughing on Friday means you will weep on Sunday.
  • Opening an umbrella in the house is bad luck.
  • Rocking an empty cradle is bad luck.
  • Giving away something that is pointed is bad luck.
  • Meeting a funeral procession on your wedding day is bad luck.
  • April 1st is unlucky while May 1st is lucky.
  • Children born on Sunday will be lucky and children born on Friday will be unlucky.
  • The number 7 is lucky and the number 13 is unlucky. (Many hotels still skip the 13th floor)

While there are many people that refuse to allow a black cat to walk in their path or to walk under a ladder, they seem to have no fear for legitimate curses. From a biblical standpoint, a curse is when the blessings of God are withheld from you. It means you have been given over to ruin or a fall. 

It’s a New Year and already there have been many predictions made about what will happen this year. 
The devil has been busy making his predictions as well but they are the same ones every year.

  • You are not going to make it.
  • No matter how hard you try you will never get the victory.
  • Your marriage is not going to survive.
  • Your financial future will be a disaster.
  • Your church is going to fall a part.
  • Your children are going to be lost.
  • The cancer will come back.

Satan's goal is to have you living in fear and rob you of your peace.

It's interesting how there have been those in history that have made some famous predictions that didn’t come to pass. 

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM in 1943 said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers”.

Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. said in 1977, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”.

A Western Union internal memo in 1876 read, “This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us”.

A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service said, “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than ‘C’, the idea must feasible”. (Fred Smith went on to found the Federal Express Corporation)

Decca Recording Company rejected the Beatles in 1962, they said, “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out”.

Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy said, “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value”.

Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of U.S. Office of Patents said “Everything that can be invented has been invented”.

A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that carried 10 people said, “There will never be a bigger plane built”.

So, no matter what predictions the devil has made about you or about the church, it does not mean that it will be that way, just as these predictions were false.

The Word of God is true and you can count on it 100% of the time! God always has the final Word!

Numbers 23:19
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

It's a New Year and it will carry with it its share of trials, troubles, and tragedies, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. You can trust in the Lord with all your heart and what He has done before, He will do it again!

Psalm 31:14 a LB
14 But I am trusting you, O Lord. I said, “You alone are my God; my times are in your hands".
MCOG Smoky Mountain Christmas
Michael, a successful New York lawyer, returned with his wife and their kids to a nostalgic inn in his hometown to spend Christmas with his widowed mom, his rural-bred sister and her country bumpkin husband with whom they have nothing in common.

It was a humorous and heart-warming story that struck a familiar chord with anyone who has ever spent Christmas with their extended family.

Our folks did a great job bringing this program to life.
MCOG Meet Me at the Manger
The Kidz' Church of Matthews Church of God presented a Christmas musical, “Meet Me at the Manger”.
The musical opened with the choir singing in Herod’s Department Store. They were forced to leave by the store owner who thought they were distracting his customers. A kindly sales associate escorted the choir to the Lighthouse Mission to be a part of their Christmas party instead.

The choir learned that God wants each of us to lay down our wants and choose to live for Jesus. Wise men still follow Him today!

We have some talented children!
Beth Baker did an outstanding job directing the Christmas Cantata!
Abby Salsedo did a wonderful job of directing the Kidz Christmas Program along with Ruth Faircloth.
Yahimar Medina
A big shout out to our very own Yahimar Medina!
She has already been accepted by 4 out of 6 universities, she is a nurse in the making.

A BSN is a bachelor’s degree of science in nursing and is a four-year program for students who seek to become a registered nurse, or those who already are a registered nurse and have an associates degree in nursing.

A BSN program typically takes 4 years to complete and is the standard for entry-level jobs in the nursing field.

We are so proud of Yahimar, she is such a delight and we pray for God to open many doors for her.

Dios te bendiga!
Women's Ministries
The Women's Ministries postponed their Christmas Party until Saturday, January 7 at 11 am in the church Fellowship Hall.
They will get to enjoy a delicious dinner catered by Carrabba's Italian Grill in Matthews.
The Women's Ministries will also be sponsoring their annual "Chicken & Pastry & Collard Green Sandwiches" on Wednesday, January 18 beginning at 5:30 pm. There's nothing quite like the comfort food of chicken & dumplings on a cold winter night. Eating collards between to corn bread fritters is an experience you don't want to miss, just ask Sonya!
There will be an opportunity for church membership on Sunday, January 15. A class will be held in the conference room At 10 a.m. and new members will be received into the church at the end of the service.

If you would like to transfer from another Church of God, see Vivian Burnette.

Acts 2:47 b
47 And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
MEN'S DAY 2023
Our annual "Men's Day" is coming up on Sunday, January 29. This year's theme will be, "Going Against the Grain". WNC State Evangelist Wayne Miller will be our guest speaker for the morning service.

Bishop Miller, along with his wife Debbie are fulltime evangelists. He served as pastor of Highest Praise for almost 10 years, before the Lord directed him to return to the Evangelism field.

There will be special gifts available for the men in commemoration of this day.
Matthews Church of God
517 E John St.
Matthews, NC 28105