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					                                 DECEMBER 2008
                                   NEWSLETTER
         FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF OWOSSO
           114 W. Mason St., Owosso, MI 48867
            EMAIL: fbcowosso@michonline.net WEBSITE: fbcowosso.org
                      989-723-1670/toll-free 877-525-1244


      REFLECTIONS ON POLITICS AND THE MESSIAH OF CHRISTMAS
      Here is a worthwhile article that seems fitting for this time of year. Pastor Ray


        Let's Elect a Dictator!         By: David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus
                                 (Edited for length by Pastor Ray Strawser)


With the presidential elections behind us at last, responses to our new president-elect range from
jubilation to despair to everything in between; some are bursting with enthusiasm while others are
ridden with anxiety. Everyone has hopes or fears (or both) about changes the new administration
will make—changes that will affect our lives and the life of our nation.

I am glad to live in a democracy like the United States. However, I don't believe that any existing
form of government can guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for any of us in these perilous
times. My hope for change, politically and economically, is grounded in the arrival of a very
particular person, in fact, a dictator. Just hear me out.

The Psalmist asks, "Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?" (Psalm 2:1). Since
the beginning of time human beings have struggled to govern ourselves effectively, have fought for
power, have imagined that we alone are the determiners of our own destiny. The Tower of Babel is
long gone, but the prideful attitudes that fostered that ill-fated building project are still
prevalent. And how does God react?

The Psalmist declares, "He who sits in the heavens shall laugh" (Psalm 2:4a). This is not to say that
God thinks our problems or our sins are humorous. He is not making light of what is happening on
earth. As I read this passage, I imagine God laughs over our notions that our choices either escape
his attention or threaten His sovereign control of the world He has created.

Time and time again God in His Word reminds us that He is the one who raises up kings and removes
them (Daniel 2:21); that "the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord and like rivers of water he
turns it wherever He wills" (Proverbs 21:1). God was not surprised by the U.S. election results.

We are indeed fortunate to be able to vote for our political leaders. I think that democracy is the
best form of government we can contrive for ourselves, knowing that all are fallen and flawed and
that it is dangerous to give too much power to any one individual. But thankfully (oh blessed relief),
God can and will deliver something even better than democracy—a divine dictatorship is coming.

The Psalmist commands, "Kiss the son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way" (Psalm 2:12a).
The best and final government that is soon coming to this earth is none other than the benevolent
dictatorship of Y'shua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. While a mere human
1                                                                                December 2008
claiming to represent God represents the most frightening potential for corruption and tyranny, the
reign and rule of God incarnate is quite the opposite. He will govern with absolutely incorruptible
righteousness and justice.

His rule over all is an absolute certainty; yet in God's amazing politics we still get to cast our "vote"
for Him to govern our lives. We don't punch a ballot or touch a screen; instead we kiss Him, that is,
pay homage, submitting our hearts and our wills to His. Whoever thinks their vote doesn't matter
needs to hear that their own well-being is at stake. The consequences are eternal.

The Bible tells us that those who don't submit to the Son's lordship will most definitely incur His
wrath and ultimately perish. That is why we are invited to campaign for Jesus each and every day
with passion and persistence, "beseeching the world on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God" (2
Corinthians 5:20).

We have no need to pin all our hopes on temporal leaders, nor do we need to despair if they fail to
measure up to our hopes or expectations. We know who will win in the end. In fact we are invited
not only to be a part of His campaign, we have been offered a position in His administration: "If we
endure, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Timothy 2:12a). That is no ephemeral political promise made
in the heat of an election; it is a guarantee that we can count on now and forever.

I am not saying that we should not be involved and be concerned citizens when it comes to the
decisions our democracy affords us. I'm only saying that whatever we may conclude about recent
elections, there is another conclusion on the horizon.

In the end, God's rule and reign is the dictatorship that will trump democracy. While that may
terrify those who don't know and trust Him, those of us who have experienced His goodness and
grace can say, "The sooner the better!" Each and every day we have the privilege and responsibility
to exercise our vote of confidence in His promises and His plan for this world. Let's cast a vote of
faith in God’s Son, born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and let's get out there and campaign for His
coming dictatorship as though the future of each person we meet depends on it. Because it does.




          PASTOR RAY’S ADVENT SERMON SERIES:

           THE WONDERS OF CHRISTMAS —
          Mystery, Majesty, Miracle, and Meaning


             SUNDAY MINISTRY SCHEDULE
           DISCIPLESHIP CLASSES FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS – 9:15 A.M.
                        FELLOWSHIP TIME – 10:00 A.M.
                        WORSHIP SERVICE – 10:30 A.M.
                        JUNIOR WORSHIP – 10:45 A.M.
                 DISCIPLESHIP CLASS FOR ADULTS – 11:45 P.M.
2                                                                                 December 2008
         ADULT DISCIPLESHIP                           ~CHURCH NEWS~
            MINISTRIES
         Pastor’s Bible Study – Meets on                KEENAGERS POTLUCK
          Sundays at 6:00 p.m. starting again in       The Keenagers Holiday potluck will be
          January, 2009. All meetings are held       held on Thursday, December 4th at noon in
          in the Thurston Lounge.                       the Fellowship Hall. Meat, potatoes,
         Life Together Dixon Group –                gravy, rolls and dessert will be furnished.
          Meets every week at 9:15 a.m.                    RSVP’s would be appreciated.
         Life Together Bruder Group –
          Meets every other week with the next         DECEMBER CHURCH OFFICE
          meeting on December 7th after                        HOURS
          worship. Further meeting dates will        Church office hours during December will
          be announced in the church bulletin.        be from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Monday,
         Discipleship Journal Class –                   Tuesday & Thursday. During the
          Led by Ruth and Bill Pulley and meets      Christmas holiday, the office will be open
          at 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.       on December 22, 23, 26, 30, and 31.
          They are studying the bi-monthly
          periodical titled ―Discipleship Journal‖
                                                       COFFEE FELLOWSHIP HOSTS
          Each volume has a unique theme.
                                                               FOR 2009
                                                     A new list for coffee hour hosts is being
    CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE                             developed. If you do not wish to be on
     December 24th at 11:00 pm – Please come           this list, please let the church office
     and bring your family and friends to our                 know as soon as possible.
    beautiful, inspirational candlelight service
    on Christmas Eve. A great way to usher in        OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
       Christmas and to remember the real                     REPORT
                reason to celebrate.                 Forty-four shoeboxes were collected for
    _____________________                            Operation Christmas Child. Thanks to all
                                                      who contributed gifts, boxes, and cash.
          ABW NEWS                                     Special thanks to Lisa Ann Dixon for
                                                          promoting this ministry for us.
                   ADVENT TEA
       Women of the church, kick off your
     Advent Season by attending the Annual             NEWSLETTER DISTRIBUTION
        Advent Tea, sponsored by ABW, on                This December Newsletter is being
    Saturday, December 6th from 2:00 – 4:00           distributed either by E-Mail, by picking
    pm in the church lounge. The program will        up your copy in the Welcome Center or by
     be presented by Marilyn Dixon and Ruth            direct mail to shut-ins and those who
       Pulley. Shut-ins will be our honored           request one. An edited version (prayer
     guests, and the ABW women of Corunna                requests and financial reports are
    First Baptist. ABW women, we will collect        deleted) is also available for download on
     our final Love Gift Offering of 2008 at         the FBC website. Please let us know if you
                     the Tea.                         would like this by e-mail each month and
                                                        furnish us with your e-mail address.
             NEXT ABW MEETING                        _______________________________
        The next ABW meeting is scheduled for
        Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.


3                                                                        December 2008
    CHRISTMAS MESSAGES TO THE                     the project of supplying food baskets for
    FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FAMILY                    the needy. If you can help supply fresh
                                                  produce, turkeys, cash donations, or other
    This year, we are starting a new tradition.      items, please contact Mary Johns or
     We are printing holiday messages from                   Laura Lee Strawser.
     individuals in the church to our Baptist
         family and friends. This is their         CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS – If you
              Christmas card to you.              wish to donate poinsettias for Christmas,
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~               please fill out the form available in the
    Let us remember the blessing of the               Welcome Center and put it in the
    greatest gift “Jesus” at Christmas and        collection plate, or contact the office by
    throughout the New Year. Many                    December 17th to be included in the
    blessings to everyone.                        bulletin. Poinsettias may be dropped off
                                                  on Saturday, 12/20 by noon and picked up
    Wayne and Ruth Roszman                             after the Christmas Eve service.

                                                   PASTOR’S CHRISTMAS LOVE GIFT -
    To our Baptist Family and Friends,
                                                    During December, Christmas Love gifts
    Wishing you Joy, Peace, and Love as
                                                  for our pastor and family will be collected.
    you celebrate the season of God’s gift
                                                  Please use the special envelope available in
    of a savior.
                                                      the pews and place your gift in the
                                                  Sunday offering plate or in the decorated
    Christmas Blessings,
                                                    collection box on the Welcome Center
    Dale and Mable Reid
                                                                    table.
    ______________________

            CHRISTMAS GIVING
                                                              HOLY HUMOR
             OPPORTUNITIES
                                                     The church pastor stood before his
    CHRISTMAS OFFERING – Your gifts to              congregation and announced, “I have
     this year’s Christmas Offering will go to       bad news, I have good news, and I
    the Shiawassee Hunger Network and the          have bad news. “The bad news is that
         FBC Benevolence Fund. Use your           the church needs a new roof. The good
     Christmas Offering envelope from your         news is, we have enough money for the
      box, or designate your gift ―Christmas       new roof. The bad news is, it’s still in
                    Offering.‖                                  your pockets.

    CHRISTMAS FOOD DRIVE – Again this
    year, in place of adopting a family, we are     Adam and Eve had the most perfect
    asking the congregation to support a food      marriage in history: Eve never talked
      drive. Please bring canned, boxed and         about her old boyfriends, and Adam
     other non-perishable food items to the          never bragged about his mother’s
    church. Collection boxes will be located in                   cooking.
       the Narthex and in Fellowship Hall.

     FOOD BASKETS FOR THE NEEDY -                             ~~~~~~~~~~
      The Fellowship & Caring and Mission &
     Outreach Ministry Teams have taken on



4                                                                      December 2008
                                         THANK YOU
    Dear Friends at First Baptist Church:

    On behalf of the patients and families served by the Aflac Cancer Center & blood Disorders
    Service let m express warm appreciation to the First Baptist Church 2008 Vacation Bible
    School for your #341 donation from the Aflac Michigan South fundraiser.

    Your gift will benefit the Aflac Cancer Center Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment Fund.
    This research fund enables the Aflac Cancer Center to currently conduct over 275 clinical
    trials, 12 of which are being conducted for children whose cancer has returned or is poorly
    responding to therapy. The Aflac Cancer Center is at the forefront of 14 experimental therapy
    trials using new drugs to treat recurrent cancer. The opening of these clinical trials offers the
    gift of hope to children with cancer and blood disorders, and it is support such as yours that
    makes them possible. The dream we share to end cancer and blood disorders in children all over
    the world will be realized because of your generosity. Thank you for being a part of this urgent
    work.
    Sincerely,

    Tyler Fletcher
    Aflac Field Force Liaison
      _________________________________________________
                 OWOSSO HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
                                           December 5th
                      6:00 pm – Tree Lighting in the new Main Street Plaza
                                     6:30 – 8:00 pm – Caroling
                               All day – Midnight Madness Shopping
                                           December 6th
                          2:30 pm – Santa’s Arrival on the Polar Express
     3:00 – 5:00 pm – Santa will be available for visiting with kids at the Owosso Community
                                 Players Annex, 114 W. Main St.
          All day – Live reindeer will be making a visit to the Chemical bank parking lot
                                       TOYS FOR TOTS
     Collection boxes are located throughout Shiawassee County, including the schools, for the
       U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Please help needy children in the area by
                    dropping off a new, unwrapped toy to any drop-off location.
                                OWOSSO CARES FOOD DRIVE
       The CHARACTER COUNTS! Community Council invites you to participate in the Owosso
     Cares Food Drive to help combat hunger in our community by donating non-perishable food
                       items. Food will be donated to Owosso food pantries.
    WHEN:      December 1st through 12th
    WHERE: Food may be dropped at:
               Baker College Welcome Center (north door) Hi-Temp Heating & Cooling
               Michigan Honda                            Owosso Public Schools
               Gilbert’s True Value Hardware             Memorial Healthcare (main lobby)
               Owosso City Hall                                 Shiawassee United Way
    WHY:       December’s CHARACTER COUNTS! Pillar of the Month is Caring. Support the
    food drive by caring for community members in need.
    QUESTIONS          Call 729-5682 or 723-4987

5                                                                              December 2008
                                 DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
    12/01      Debbie Burke                         12/15   Angie Henderson
    12/02      Marie Johns                          12/16   Kay Snell
    12/05      Helen Hoover                         12/18   Denny Walker
    12/08      Cal Kilburn                          12/22   Jay Creighton
    12/09      Bill Kohagen                         12/26   Betty VamAmburg
    12/11      Kate Wallen                          12/27   Joy Maurer
    12/13      Bev Kohagen

    ________________________________________
                         FALL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
    At the November 16, 2008 Fall Congregational Meeting, a budget of $104, 416.00 was approved
      for 2009. This is $654 less than the 2008 budget. We also decided not to hold the Swiss
     Steak Supper in 2009. Changes in health regulations, an aging work force, ABW’s decision to
        give up sponsoring the event, and reduced ticket sales were all factors in this decision.

    ________________________________________
              YEAR TO DATE GIVING

            THRU 10/31/08              OUR GIVING                OUR MINISTRY
                                                                  EXPENSES **

            Current Expenses            $ 75,386.02                 $85,813.65

            Special Receipts *          $ 3,640.10                  $ 3,640.10

                 TOTAL                  $79,026.12                  $89,453.75


                      Average Weekly Collection Thru 10/31/08 = $1,753.16
                                NEEDED Per Week = $2,033.04
                        ACCUMULATED DEFICIT TO DATE =$10,427.63

    Special receipts include gifts to memorial, building, music and miscellaneous funds. These
    gifts are “disbursed” to savings, reserve funds, or as designated. Transfers are not
    included.
    ** Major Capital (building) expenses are not included here.
    * Mortgage payment donations are placed in a restricted fund and are not reported
    here.

    ADDITIONAL NOTE: The accumulated deficit is covered by money from our Reserve
    Fund, which is a gathering of special income (such as the Rummage Sale and the Annual
    Flower Sale), interest income from restricted funds, and the principle of unrestricted
    estate gifts (like the Richmond Estate gift).



6                                                                           December 2008
                     DECEMBER PRAYER MINISTRY

    NEW PRAYERS: Ellie Stallings (3 year old--heart surgery), Don Henderson (surgery), Gay
    Bruder (grandmother of Richard Bruder-gall bladder), Dorothy Thompson (recovery from
    shoulder surgery), Ruth Pulley (knee replacement recovery), Andrea Thompson (chemo), Becky
    Lamas (hepatitis C), David Marvin (employment), Chris Valley (employment), Jayden Valasek (1
    year old - heart surgery), Fred Herring (heart problems), Louisette (Grant Franson’s
    grandmother-cancer), Deb Frick (ovarian cancer), Clare Washburn (tumor surgery), Rhonda
    Farrell (breast cancer), Elnor Diehl (cancer), Bill Burbeck (medical), James Warner (Jim & Sue’s
    grandson – to Marine Boot Camp), Clare Crim (broken ankle), Rhonda Ferrell (cancer).


    CONTINUE PRAYING FOR:
    Healing from Cancer: Fr. Ray A. Strawser (multiple myeloma and medical problems), Mark
    Hudecek, Diane Allen, Carol Verbeck, Jean Lubbers, Tammi Ferguson, John Kaczynski, Bill Crim,
    Tom Collard, Emmett Hall, Brent Wesley, Collin Trask, Jim Crapo, Dick Ringstrom, Cathy
    Weaver, Phil Ketchum, Jane Wilson, Jan Tyler, Andrea Thompson, Carol Tierney, Marcia Hutson,
    Eugene Pulley, Wendy Rauch, Bob Dietrich,

    Other Medical/Personal Needs: Virginia Martin, Darrel Butcher, Pete Plat, Leann Buehler,
    Barb Vrable, Overt Smith, Ardis and Claude Cooley, Ashley Chamberlain, Courtney Black, Anne
    Hisler, John Forsythe, Robin Hawley, George McClain (Laura Lee’s father), Chelsie Mead, Shane
    Medore, Nan Oliver, Jan Wildermuth (transferred to Pleasant View for rehab), Gordon Brock,
    Tom Capitan, Amy Hoppersberger, Allan Wright, Audrey Laclear, Lois McGarvey, Joy Maurer,
    Kay Snell, Danielle Yupes, George Schultz, Bill and Ruth Pulley, Maggie Oliver, Art Graham, Bob
    Spencer


    SPECIAL CONCERNS:
    Remember our Shut-Ins: Marie Welch, Leona Daniel, Helen Hoover, Thelma Harris, Wilma
    Willitts, Virginia Skinner, Margaret Chrenka, George Schwartz, Ardis and Claude Cooley

    Our Christian Sympathy is Extended to: The families of George Valley, Gerald Kohagen,
    Floyd Cheney, Rev. Roy Greer, Nancy Patrick

    Our Christian Joy is Extended to:
    Ruth Roszman, who received a good health report recently. God has surely answered the
    prayers of many as Ruth battled cancer with courage and faith.

    Prayer for a Ministry of First Baptist:
    Please pray for the Christmas Food basket outreach, that families in need would be touched by
    the Love of God and this congregation.



    NOTE: Please call the church office (723-1670) if you would like to have someone added or
    deleted from the above list.




7                                                                             December 2008
                                PRAYER THOUGHTS
                                     Submitted by: Mable Reid


               The lord hears the prayers of the righteous…Proverbs              15:29

       Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful……Colossians                4:2


    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and
                purify us from all unrighteousness……….. 1 John 1:9

Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for
               you in Christ Jesus………. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~




                  GOD’S SERVANTS FOR DECEMBER
      STEWARDS                                      COFFEE HOSTS
      12/07     Doreen Bouck                        12/07   Angie Henderson & Carol Paksi
      12/14     Betty Kelsey                        12/14   Bob & Mary Johns
      12/21     Lola Jean Smith                     12/21   Mable Reid & Peggy Bucsi
      12/28     Mary Johns                          12/28   Lola Jean Smith & Ruth Roszman


      NURSERY SCHEDULE                                      JUNIOR WORSHIP
      12/07     Karen DeLong                                12/07 Suzanne Henderson
      12/14     Suzanne Henderson & Angie Henderson         12/14 Doreen Bouck
      12/21     Char Elliott & Evelyn Sexton                12/21 Shannon Sadilek
      12/28     Nancy Dibean & Betty VanAmburg              12/28 Heather Valley


                                    COMMUNION SERVERS
                     Jeri Bandkau, Karen DeLong, Char Elliott, Rolene Zacharda


                                             USHERS
                   Richard Bruder, Jim Henderson, Doug Sadilek, Shannon Sadilek

      Please note: If you are unable to serve on a date scheduled, please call someone on the
      list to trade.




8                                                                          December 2008

				
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