Church of God
DECEMBER 2017 - In This Issue:

Just about everyone decorates at Christmas time by setting up a nativity scene.
The scene is a stable, Mary, Joseph, and a wooden manger with baby Jesus.
Standing around this scene are shepherds, sheep, camels and donkeys.

But those little scenes sitting around on tables and mantles are far too sanitized to represent the real thing.  The real nativity was dirty and smelly; t here were no scented candles or shining figurines.

Today when a baby is born m others take great care with their newborns; t hey purchase beautiful cribs and blankets.  They make sure the environment is kept clean and sanitized for their baby.  We can't imagine any mother today taking her newborn baby and placing it in a feeding trough for animals.
But Jesus was actually laid in a rough feeding trough for animals.

Our Lord Jesus does not belong in a stable!  There is something terribly wrong with the Son of God being born in a stable.  Luke tells us why Jesus was born in a stable " ...because there was no room for them in the inn"

It's been about 2000 years and things still haven't changed!  Jesus Christ is still relegated to the back of a stable  because there is no room for Him.
People have so crowded their lives until they don't have time or room for Jesus Christ.

He deserves our best gifts.
He deserves our choicest rooms.
He deserves the best we can give.

In fact, we can't worship God without giving; g iving is an act of worship and it is evoked by worship.  When we worship the Lord we can't help but give!

Giving is what Christmas is all about!  The wise men opened their treasures and presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Lord.

GOLD, which was  a gift recognizing His role as a KING.
FRANKINCENSE,  was a gift recognizing His role as a PRIEST.

MYRRH,  was a gift recognizing His role as a PROPHET.

What should we give to the Lord? 
What gifts do we have to offer that are fit for a King, Priest and Prophet?

Psalm 116:12

What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?

It should be our passion to always give the Lord our best and to always make room for Him.

Matthews Church of God Sanctuary Choir Presents: "Shepherds and Kings"

Performance Dates: Saturday, December 9, at 7 p.m. and an 
encore performance Sunday, December 
10 at 6:30 p.m.
For many of us, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, a time to be spent with family and friends...a festive, happy time. But for others, the same holiday season only serves to underscore the loneliness,pain, and hopelessness of their own lives. 

In our story, Susanna King's bright spirit and love for life overrides her circumstances; you see, Susanna has been recently diagnosed with cancer. But in spite of bad news and challenging times, she lives with the joy of Christmas in her heart. This is an emotion-filled story, rich with heart. It comes alive with great new songs that are sometimes powerful, sometimes celebratory, sometimes poignant; sometimes happy, sometimes sad; songs that propel the story along while speaking to our hearts with the love language of  God's Christmas story...the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Shepherds and Kings proclaims a strong, vibrant message about the power of love-our love for one another, our love for God, and most importantly, God's desire that ALL would come to know of His great love for us.

Matthews Church of God Kidz Church Presents:
"In A Galilee Far, Far Away"

Performance Date: Sunday December 17 at 11:00 a.m.

"Houston, we have no problem!" 
Our kids will blast off with this Christ mas musical of galactic proportions: In
a Galilee Far, Far Away.  

It will be an exciting interplanetary exploration to discover the glory of God throughout the universe, and beyond! And where will it  all lead them? Back to a manger in Bethlehem, and the Savior of the World, of course! 

Get ready to boldly go where no kidz' choir has gone before! 

November was a great month with some wonderful blessings and memories.
  1. We baptized four 
  2. Received two new members
  3. We had a tremendous youth service
  4. Our annual candlelight communion service was unlike any that we've ever had. Someone remarked that the presence of God was "thick".


Our members in spotlight this month are Willie & Ilse Raushen who recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

Willy immigrated to Long Island in 1953 and joined the US Army. He was assigned to Hanau, Germany where he met Ilse, a local "fraulein". They were married and their two children, Connie and Michael were born there. They then spent 6 yrs in California and next went back to Germany for 7 more years, during which time Willy went to Vietnam for a year. He went to Korea for a year in 1973 while his family stayed in Salina, Kansas. His last duty station before his 20 yr retirement from the Army was in Natick, Massachusetts. Ilse was a WONDERFUL and DEDICATED army wife for 20 years!

The next 29 years were spent in Port St. Lucie, Florida; Willy owned a Charles Chips distributorship and Ilse worked for Grumman Aerospace. 

In 2005 they moved to Charlotte to be closer to their daughter, Connie and her family. Their son, Michael, lives in Tucson with his family. Willy and Ilse have 6 grandchildren and a great grandchild on the way!

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."