We are still rejoicing over those who trusted Jesus for Salvation last Sunday. We saw God use the drama, The Passover in Egypt, to illustrate His plan of redemption! The portrayal of the blood on the doorpost of the families that believed in God, contrasted with the family that rejected the blood was very powerful. You could see and understand God’s plan of salvation. God’s Lamb, Jesus, died in my place. We rejoice in our own salvation.

Today we continue to follow the Passover through time. From the first Passover, almost 3,500 years ago, we now fast forward to 2,000 years ago at the time of Christ. Jesus is coming to Jerusalem. Jesus is a religious Jew. He observes all the laws and practices of Judaism.

Jesus will use the Passover meal before His crucifixion as a teaching time. He will share powerful lessons from the Word of God, demonstrate grace and mercy reaching out to Judas and share love and assurance with the disciples.

A special thank you to all the workers and volunteers for making this Living Bible Lesson come to life!

Thank the Lord for the wonderful service Wednesday night! The spirit of praise and thanksgiving was a blessing to each of us. We walked into the church from all over Western North Carolina. We came in different cars, trucks, and vans. We carried in various problems and burdens of life. Some were sad and some were glad. Some of us felt great while others came to church not feeling well or even in treatment for a serious sickness. Some of us had prayed and prepared our heart to worship and some had been very busy and would pray later.

Yet, in spite of all our differences we entered into the building for the purpose of worship. We began to pray. We started to sing and the choir began to lead us in praise to our Lord! Hebrews 13:15 tells us that sometimes we don’t feel like singing, praising God, or, for that matter, even going to church. However, through Jesus we can still offer praise to God. This verse states that it may be difficult to praise God in your situation but we are to praise the Lord anyway. It may be a sacrifice but Praise the Lord!

“A sacrifice of praise” is an interesting thought. Through Jesus Christ living in us, By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God…How? The next word is, …continually, the offering or “fruit” of our lips. This can be words to encourage or discourage, words to bless and help or words to sow discord and curse. That is a whole new study.God dwells in the praises of His people!

Thank you for being faithful!

Many of the guides and teachers in Israel refer to the land itself as “The Fifth Gospel”. The Bible contains the “Four Gospels”; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When you arrive in Israel, the land begins to demonstrate, teach, and reflect the “gospels”. They jump off the pages and come alive! The living illustration of the land is so strong that the teachers and guides say, “If you can come see the land, read the scriptures the land becomes the “Fifth Gospel”.

Using the Bible as our guide book, the word of God becomes our road map of travel and exploration. We read about Mt. Hermon, so we drive north in Israel to the Syrian border and see Mt. Hermon. We read Jesus teaching the disci-ples at Caesarea Philippi and we go to the spring at Banias (Caesarea Philip-pi), then Jesus calling the disciples at Galilee and we travel to the Sea of Gali-lee. The Bible is the guide and the land testifies to the truth of God’s Word!

Thank you so much for praying! The video team did an outstanding job. The team worked very hard from daylight until dark every day. God opened many unusual and wonderful doors for us to minister in Israel! No doubt about it, the Bible Prophecies are being fulfilled each day and Jesus is coming at any moment!

Last Sunday was the first Sunday of 2015. Our greetings of “Happy New Year” were replaced with “Praise the Lord” and “Thank you, Jesus!”
We experienced the love of Jesus and gifts of salvation on both Saturday night and Sunday morning. Two men trusted Christ on Saturday night at the TBC Men’s Fellowship and eight others prayed for salvation on Sunday morning. Now that is a Happy New Year!
We send a special thank you to Forrest Jarrett and the Norfolk Southern Railroad for the use of the big “Choo Choo” Grill, powered by propane gas and hickory wood. Sam’s Wholesale Club Assistant Manager Mark Koons and the meat department went out of their way to prepare us a choice cut of steak for the TBC Men’s Fellowship. The service was the best and the meat was delicious.
A wonderful Sunday completed our first weekend of 2015. Thank you for praying, working, and being faithful in your attendance.
I also wanted to give you a follow-up note on the Birthday Offering for Jesus. The children added over $1,000 dollars in their change offering. This brought the total to over $43, 000 in this special time of giving.

Part of our New Year’s celebrations includes New Year Resolutions. Let’s dust off the failed resolutions of 2014 and give them another chance in 2015! There is something in our nature that likes and desires a clean slate, a clean piece of paper, or a “mulligan” (chance to hit it again.)

We serve a living Lord that is well aware of real life, including the problems we face every day with family, friends and jobs. Though we are Bible Believers, we are just people, common clay with feelings and emotions. Jesus wants us to be blessed and happy in our salvation. We are to be growing in our faith, our relationship, our finances and our walk with the Lord, Jesus Christ!

Every so often we have opportunities to hit the “reset” button spiritually as the Lord burdens our heart and visits with us in His Word and prayer. Sometimes it might be in a revival meeting or a special event, but each of these is given for an opportunity to pray and to vow to do better!

New Year’s Day is the perfect platform to start over with some good habits. Let’s start by growing in our walk with Jesus each day. Don’t forget that a church is also a living, growing and learning body of believers. We want to do more for Jesus than ever so let’s continue to pray and learn and grow in better service to the Lord!
Thank you for being faithful and for all you do for our church as we grow and go forward in 2015!