Church of God
January 2019 - In This Issue:

It's a New Year and we are starting again; a time when the blank pages of a new calendar entice us to make a fresh start. According to the US News & World Report, three out of four Americans make at least one New Year's Resolution.

The top resolutions are to:
  1. Lose Weight
  2. Stop Smoking
  3. Spend Less and Save More
  4. Exercise More
  5. Eat more Healthy 
  6. Spend more time with Family
The big question is how successful are we in implementing those changes. According to one poll they found that 46% will break their resolution. (About 30% made the same resolution last year). It's obvious that we have a difficult time keeping our resolutions.
However, 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 hope and opportunity to start again.

In Roman mythology, the god Janus was depicted as having two faces that looked in opposite directions. He was supposedly, 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, in taking its name from Janus, is a time in which we look in both directions:
  1. We look at our past and to our disappointments
  2. We look to our future with great hope and expectancy
In the parable of the fruitless fig tree in Luke 13, t he tree had been planted; not just to be an ornament or to be looked upon but to produce fruit. But when the owner came looking for fruit, he found none.

It is an insult to give our Lord nothing in return after He has given us everything. The Lord seeks fruit and has a right to expect to find it.  It wasn't just a one-time occasion that He came looking for fruit; for three years he came seeking for fruit and found none.

We can weary God's patience; after three years of finding no fruit, He said, "cut it down!"
He then asks a very solemn question, "Why cumbereth (hinder) the ground?"
Why should this fruitless tree be a hindrance? Everyone who is fruitless is a burden and a hindrance! They drink up that which could have gone for fruit making. They spread branches over the others and hinder the sunshine from falling on other trees and affect their fruit bearing ability.
The solution! "Cut it down"! A tree that brings not forth good fruit is good for nothing but to be cut down and thrown into the fire.
We can't afford to allow another year to pass by without producing fruit.
The vine dresser interceded; "Lord, let it alone this year also".
We may be living today ONLY because of the intercession of Jesus Christ; He is ever interceding on our behalf. 
BUT, this may be OUR LAST YEAR!
It is said that when Queen Elizabeth was dying that she cried, "All my possessions, for a moment of time".
Time belongs to God; the years are His! Only His mercy holds back the axe of His justice!
The vineyard dresser promised more work; h e promised to dig about it and to fertilize it. 
We've got to get busy; this is not an hour to slumber or sleep because the  results are final!
Give this tree just one more year and if it bears fruit, well, and if not, then after that, cut it down!


We had a great December with two fantastic Christmas programs. Just when you think the kids have given you their best; they outdo themselves it seems, every Christmas.
They did a wonderful job presenting, "Christmas in the Country", under the direction of Abby Salsedo. People are still talking about it being the best ever!


This year's Christmas Cantata had to be moved back because of the ice/snow storm but it was worth waiting on.  "All is Well", under the direction of Beth Baker, was joyful and inspirational.

To top the day off was a delicious meal and wonderful fellowship!


We are making a commitment to begin the year with a concerted effort to prayer.  21 days of prayer & fasting, beginning with January 1, invites us to humble ourselves and seek the face of God. 
We believe that this effort will result in God moving on behalf of the church and our nation, according to 2 Chronicles 7:14.
We are expecting to see God move in His mighty power, impacting our relationships, work, family and every area of our lives.

We are also incorporating the B.L.E.S.S ( tool to pray for our neighbors. We believe that prayer will not only affect our church but our neighbors and nation.

Our annual "Men's Day" is coming up, Sunday, January 27. 
We are looking forward to having as our guest speaker: Bishop Troy Wilhelm,  along with his wife, Wanda, who recently retired from pastoring at the Randleman Church of God.

We are thankful for our men and their commitment and faithfulness to God and His church!
Music Notes/Youth Happenings

Saturday Morning Praise Service featuring: Zachary Barnes from Laurinburg, NC.
Service time will be 11 a.m. along with other guests.

MCOG Sanctuary Choir to minister at the Charlotte Rescue Mission on 1/27 at 3:00 pm. We encourage anyone from our church to attend this service.
Charlotte Rescue Mission is a leader in providing free Christian-based residential recovery programs that help people struggling with the disease of addiction achieve long-term sobriety, find employment and stable housing, and restore and build healthy relationships.

How to be a Quitter - 4-week series that explores 4 things to quit in order to experience lasting change: making excuses, complaining, living in fear, and comparison. Students, join us on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.


The Women's Ministries will be sponsoring a "Chicken 'n' Dumplings & Collard Greens" sandwiches dinner on Wednesday, January 16 beginning at 5:00 p.m.

What a way to warm up a cold January night! Delicious and hot chicken 'n' dumplings or "pastry" as it's called down east, along with fried collar greens sandwiched between two cornbread fritters.

You don't want to miss this delicious meal and help support our "Women's Ministries" at the same time.

(Ryan Tucker, we need you to advertise this ;); if you saw the children's Christmas play you would understand why)

Matthews Church of God
517 E John St.
Matthews, NC  28105

"A Church with open arms, a smiling face and a loving heart for all people."