Seven Scriptures to Remind Us that Jesus is the Real Reason for the Season…Still…

Hello World,

Like the treasured Christmas tree that my husband and I lovingly decorate each Christmas season (we bought the tree during our first Christmas together as a married couple in 2013), the post below, which I originally wrote in 2012, is still relevant especially as today is December 1!

I don’t know about you but December always seems to fly by…Between making Christmas lists, shopping with the masses, sending out Christmas greetings via e-mail or snail mail, going to Christmas parties and other events, preparing for the New Year and regular life stuff, it seems there is never enough time to do it all and so I almost look forward to January when life is back to its regular pace…

And if you noticed, I haven’t mentioned Jesus at all…That is because with all I have to or want to do, I can forget that the birth of Jesus, God’s precious gift to mankind, is the real reason for the season…And so to prepare my heart for this season and hopefully help you prepare your heart for this season too, I have decided to list seven scriptures that take the focus off of the worldly expressions of the Christmas season and help us to focus on Jesus…

1. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 I just love that Immanuel means “God with us.”  Jesus was born so that God could be with us…Remember that the next time you feel alone because you are not…God is with us!

2. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Look how much we are loved by God! He sacrificed His one and only Son! What have we sacrificed for God lately? Something to remember and act on at this time of the year…

3. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 Every time I see Christmas lights, I’m going to remember that God is the father of heavenly lights and that every good and perfect gift is from Him…I’m feeling better about the Christmas season already…

4. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 Although we will never be free of sin this side of Heaven, we can still accept God’s gift of eternal life with Jesus Christ who helps us not to sin…

5. “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” 1 Peter 3:15 At some point during this Christmas season, we have to know that everyone around us does not know the real reason for the season…I hope I’m ready when the opportunity arises for me to tell somebody about my Lord and Savior…

6. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4…Do  you want the desires of your heart? Of course 🙂 Then we have to delight ourselves in the Lord and His purposes…Now, this does not mean that we send up a list of what we want and then He delivers gifts like He is some Santa Claus in the sky…No, this verse means that mysteriously when we align ourselves with the Lord, His desires for us become our desires…and then we get the desires of our heart because they are His desires for us too…

7. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:14…This time of the year especially I have to make every effort to give glory to God and live at peace with others…I wish those in government would remember that…

And what is the Christmas season without beautiful music? Check out Jonathan McReynold’s rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” His voice is simply angelic…

Any thoughts?

 

Six Members of Florida Church Die from COVID…

Hello World,

Has your church opened its physical doors again? My church has although the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Although it’s being reported that most of those who are getting sick with the virus are unvaccinated, some are still wary about the vaccine. In fact, one of my Facebook friends said the vaccine is the mark of the beast!!! Can y’all believe it?!! Read below what has happened at a church in Florida, one of the reported hot spots for the continuing pandemic.

“Six people from a Florida church died from COVID-19 within 10 days. So the church opened a vaccine clinic during Sunday service.”

A Jacksonville, Florida, church turned into a COVID-19 vaccination site after six members of the congregation died from the virus within 10 days. Impact Church senior pastor George Davis said at least 15 other members of the church reported having COVID-19 and some were hospitalized.

Davis said none of those who reported a positive test traced it to the church. He said Impact Church still follows social distancing, offers hand sanitizer and asks worshipers to wear masks.

Read the rest of the CBS News article, written by Caitlin O’Kane, HERE.

Any thoughts?

From Marriage to Divorce to Remarriage, Pastors Royal & Kimberly McClinton Share Their Secrets To 35 Years of Marriage

Hello World,

It’s common knowledge that half of all marriages end in divorce. Recent figures have shown that divorce in the church is high as well. The failure of marriages not only leaves dreams dashed but it also leaves lives crushed. Having experienced divorce themselves – after 20 years of marriage, Drs. Royal & Kimberly McClinton, pastors of the Chicago-area church, Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, understand the challenges that couples face in keeping a marriage together. They also know with the help of the Lord broken marriages can be healed. Their own testimony of remarriage, after 4 years of divorce, is a testament to hard work, strong commitment and an unshakable faith. Now celebrating thirty-five years of marriage, they are inspired to help other couples “keep it together”.

“We have been counseling couples for years and decided to put what we’ve been sharing in a book, Bare Naked and Not Afraid: The Marriage Manual,” says Dr. Kim. “People were regularly encouraging us to share our testimony and they wanted us to write a book so that they could come back to the information from our counseling sessions or our Bare Naked and Not Ashamed Conferences. We also realized that we have a voice and if we can help others through a book, we wanted to do it.”

Initially, they pondered writing two separate books, but Dr. Royal believed it would be more impactful if they wrote a book together. He says, “In addition to people asking us to write a book, the Lord really impressed upon our hearts to share what we had learned – through our first marriage, our divorce and our remarriage. We want to help others through the hard times and the challenges that come in marriage. We also desire to help those who want to marry and those who are engaged. We want to make sure couples are aware of the realities of marriage; we told them the truth so that they aren’t surprised after the wedding is over.”

Apostles McClinton have chronicled the lessons they’ve learned through their marriage journey in Bare Naked and Not Ashamed. Throughout the book, the couple reveals the realities of marriage that few choose to delve into. Starting with God’s intention for marriage and focusing on topics like oneness and partner expectations, they provide tools for couples seeking to begin their journey off right. Conflict resolution and the acknowledgement of spouses’ strengths and challenges are mentioned, too, and they tackle that dreaded word, submission, explaining the true meaning behind it. One of the most powerful insights is the couples’ description of love – not the world’s definition of love, but the sacrificial, agape love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Their testimony of marriage, divorce and remarriage is one that is needed and is important to be shared in the church. Dr. Royal McClinton grew up in the church; he knew he was called to serve others from his youth. The son of a pastor, as a child, he had a strong desire to serve in ministry, helping others. Very familiar with the inner workings of the church, the Chicago native was the youngest of five boys and was ordained as a Deacon in 1989 at Bread of Life Church of God in Christ in Chicago, IL. Later he became a licensed minister and then in 2011, he was ordained pastor.

Prior to becoming the Senior Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International in Sauk Village, IL, he held a variety of positions including Bible Class Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Pastoral Armor Bearer. Dr. Royal has majored in Early Childhood Development at Chicago State University and obtained his Bachelor Degree in Theology; he received his Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College.

Apostle Kimberly McClinton, Pastor of Life in Christ Family Worship Center International, was also raised in Chicago.  Raised by a mother who was a practicing Pentecostal and a father who was a committed Catholic, faith was a major part of her life. A lover of Word of God, she enjoyed sharing the Bible with others. She was licensed as a minister in 2001 at To God Be The Glory Ministry. Like her husband, she’s held numerous positions in the church including Church Administrator, Choir President, Section Leader, Praise and Worship Leader, Bible Class Teacher, Youth Teacher, Fellowship Administrator, Board Member and Trustee. In addition, she is an ordained Prophetess, Apostle and Pastor.

She launched Pure Life Bible Institute, an accredited Bible college, offering degrees through the Midwest College of Theology and attended Chicago State University and DePaul University. She is a recipient of Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Philosophy: Theology through New Life Theological Seminary/The Williams-Clemson-Davis Bible College. An entrepreneur at heart, she is the owner of both Completely Yours Events and Stationery and Earnest Ease, LLC. Dr. Kim is a singer/songwriter, having released her debut CD entitled, Restored, in 2018. She holds the positions of Board Member for ReFresh Global, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Psalmist Raine Ministries.

Together, Dr. Royal and Dr. Kimberly McClinton aim to stop divorces in their tracks.

Any thoughts?