Winter is here

2 01 2014

As you can tell, we slacked on getting up the Advent devotional every day. I apologize, and hope that you did a devo and celebrated Advent leading up to Christmas! And I pray your Christmases were joyful, fun, and relaxing.

School starts Monday! And with it, FHC Remix starts. FHC Remix is a Bible study, low key, relaxing, chill. We worship, we talk, we learn. It is going to be the next 5 mondays (not including MLK day) at the Greenway’s house, in the neighborhood above Boulder heights from 7-8pm. Contact a leader or your friends for directions and more info!

We know that it is hard to drag yourself out of the house at 7pm in January- it is dark, cold, and dreary. But we encourage you all to come and grow closer to Jesus as we look at different points in his life, written in the Gospel of John.

Happy Winter everyone! Just think, in 3.5 (hopefully) it will be spring. Meanwhile the light of Christ can carry us through.

What’s the Meaning in the List (Advent devo)

13 12 2013

December 12

What’s the Meaning in the List
Kelly Hyatt

When I first begun reading the Bible seriously, I remember starting with Matthew and the first thing I came to was this long list of names. It made no sense to me, I recognized a few names from Sunday School, but it just seemed like a boring list to me. I just skipped over it and when I got to Luke’s list I did the same. About a year later, I was asked to be on a Bible Quiz team with my friend, Danielle and some of our girlfriends, we literally had to memorize parts of the book of Matthew (Most of the teams memorizedthe whole book, but our team split it up). And my first job was to memorize Matthew chapter one: The List.

At first, I was just memorizing for the sake of memorizing, but after awhile I started to wonder who are these people and why are they listed in Matthew’s first chapter. Why is it so important? Well, they are Jesus’ ancestors. It was important to show the Jewish people the family line that Jesus would come out of. In the Old Testament, it was foretold that the Savior would come from the line of David, so Matthew had to set out to prove it. This List traces Jesus’ ancestors from his earthly father Joseph back to David and then all the way back to Abraham. So let’s look from the beginning…. Abraham (Genesis 12-24), this guy must be pretty important, he has half a book of the Bible dedicated to his story. You might be confused at first because his name used to be Abram, God changed it along his journey. I would think that God would choose perfect upstanding citizens for Jesus’ earthly relatives, but I would be wrong. Abram lies, telling people that his wife was his sister, so that they would spare his life.

David (1 Samuel 16 – 2 Samuel), now this guy must be a perfect ancestor, he starts out great as the little boy chosen to fight the giant, Goliath and then was chosen as king of God’s people. But like all of us, David was a human who made mistakes. David ends up having an affair with another man’s wife, getting her pregnant and having her husband killed. Now that is a little more severe than the white lie that Abraham told to protect his life.

Joseph (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2), this is where you might think if Jesus is the Son of God, then why does it matter who Joseph was? It was an important part of God’s plan to have Jesus have an earthly father, who connected him to David and all the way back to Abraham. And Joseph was that. He also chose to stay with Mary and protect her from certain death, for getting pregnant out of wedlock. Without Joseph’s heritage and marriage to Mary, God’s plan would not have worked.

God has a plan for all of us. At times scripture may seem unimportant or boring, but it is all God breathed. He has purpose in every word and name.

It is our joy to discover it for ourselves. Lord, please continue to open our hearts and minds to what you have for us in your word.

God came as a Baby (Advent devo)

11 12 2013

December 10

God came as a Baby
Paul Arras

Jesus is 100 percent God. For evidence of this, we need only think of the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. Death was no obstacle for Him!

Jesus is also 100 percent human. The best image to remind us of this is the baby Jesus, newborn, lying in the cleanest hay that could be found in a dirty barn, somewhere in Bethlehem. Babies are helpless. They can do nothing by themselves, except cry and sleep and poop. How stunningly humble! To save the world, God did not lead an army of angels. He came as a baby, to be one

Keep the image of the baby Jesus in your mind as you read this scripture.

Jesus came to earth in a body. That’s an obvious but nonetheless important fact! As a baby, He was chased to Egypt by Herod. Mary and Joseph fled with Him in their arms. As an adult, He was hurt, beaten, crucified, and stabbed with a spear. He put Himself at the world’s mercy from the start. In the end, the world killed Him. (Happily for us, that wasn’t the end after all!)

Jesus became like us, fully human in every way. He suffered so that He might help those of us who are suffering. He was tempted so that He might help those of us who are tempted. And He died so that He might save us Jesus doesn’t float above us, distant and too perfect to relate to our petty misery. The gift of Christmas is an invincible God who comes to us as a vulnerable baby. Our God sends his biggest gifts in his smallest packages. Our God sends his power and strength through the powerless and weak.

God, thank You for coming to us as a baby! And thank You for loving me as a perfect father loves his helpless infant. When I suffer and when I am vulnerable, help me to remember that Jesus made Himself human and experienced the suffering of this world first-hand. Lord, give me eyes to see the people around me more like Jesus saw the people around Him – vulnerable and in need. And help me to remember the image of the baby Jesus and be reminded of how close you really are to me! Amen.

Dwelling (advent devo)

10 12 2013

December 9
Be a Space for God to Dwell Inside
Corine Ward

Luke 1: 26-38

When Mary found out she was pregnant, I am sure she felt emotions we are all used to. Confusion, shock, and maybe a little excitement come to mind when reading this scripture. Before we skip to Mary’s awesome response in the end, let’s look at how she is greeted.

Mary is greeted with such favor. Don’t we all desire affirmation that people like us? Well Mary got the best affirmation-she is highly favored by the Lord. Mary might feel confused by this greeting because as humans we get uncomfortable with compliments. Haven’t you ever been like “thanks for the compliment but what do you want/need from me?” We often have this response to the people in our daily lives because we don’t expect them to respond with love and simple affirmation.

The angel drops a bomb to Mary when he tells her that she will not only is with child but the baby will be the Lord’s. Mary never seems to get nervous or have the human reaction that we would assume to happen. She asks how it is possible and when the angel explains to her that the Holy Mary’s response to the Angel is something we can learn from. She simply opens her hands and becomes a space for the Lord to dwell. “I am the Lord’s servant” is easy for us to hear and say but can be hard to act out every day. Every day strive to be letting God into your body and dwell inside. Once He is inside, he will fill you with grace and love that is more powerful than anything else in this world.

Application: Take 10 minutes today. Give five minutes to yourself. Find a space of stillness and silence just with God. Then give the second five minutes to someone else, and let that person fill all your attention. Invite God and His love to indwell you today.

Prayer: Father, allow me to filled with you. Make my body a place filled with your grace and love. Take hold of my unseen stress. Take hold of my unseen worries. Take hold of my life so I can be your servant. Amen.

Dec 6th Advent devo

6 12 2013

December 6

God’s Grand Plan
Bonnie Manion

If what God created was very good, why is there so much evil and why is God resting and
not doing something about it? In the beginning God created everything on this earth and
stated “it was very good.” (Gen1:31) This word “good” is described as beautiful, joyful,
 God then rested from all His work. (Gen 2:3) You see God gave man (male and female) a
beautiful garden to live in and dominion over that garden, He had also given them the fruit
of the Tree of life that they could eat freely of and live forever. (Gen 2:9, 17) God asked
them to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of “good and evil” which we know
they failed at and the consequence of that tree was death. They were banished from the
garden and the tree of life (Gen.3:22-24) to till their own garden and choose their own way
according to the new knowledge of good and evil they had attained. So now man was forging
ahead in a land not flowing with milk and honey but pain, thorns, and thistles. (Gen. 3:16-
18) Very shortly after this Adam’s son Cain chooses evil, and suffers the consequences of his
choice and the first man, Abel though innocent, dies the first physical death. This becomes
the downward spiral, man trying to live under their choices with their own understanding of
good and evil with no end in sight to turn it around. (Gen 4:11-14) What was a bad situation
became even worse, because as we know there are consequences to our choices. Now man
is a product of his own choice with no one to claim him back and what makes it worse, Satan
(the serpent of Genesis 3:1-4) is still seeking out man to hunt him like a lion trying to devour

Is God doing nothing? First remember that man removed himself from Gods protection.
But God also knew man could not get himself out of this mess. God devised a plan to
redeem man. We were like sheep that had gone astray. (Isaiah 53:6) To redeem us back
would cost God, because the consequence of our disobedience was death. It would take
the death of one sinless human to satisfy the penalty of our sin. (Rom 6:23) For the wages
of sin is death; but the gift of God Is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:8)
But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us. For God has made Jesus to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the
righteousness of God in Christ. (2Co5:21)

 Has God done nothing? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
(John 3:16a) Now we get a chance once more to choose, Jesus, the tree of life. That
whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16b) Now
blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and
may enter in through the gates into the city. (Rev.22:14) What did Jesus do after securing
our redemption? He sat down at the right hand of God, His resting Father. (John 19:30)
Until when; until God deals with all worldly evil and makes His enemies, including Satan, His
footstool. (Matt 22:44) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, now is come salvation, and
strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our
brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Rev12:10)

Lord thank you for securing my salvation through your son Jesus Christ. I receive your gift of
salvation by confessing my sin and disobedience and believing that Christ died in my place for
me. I thank you that I can again eat of the tree of life and that you are in the process of doing
away with your enemies and all evil. I am waiting with you until you set up your kingdom.

Advent devo

5 12 2013

For Advent we will posting up a daily devotional written by people who love the syracuse community. Kelly Hyatt, the Caz young life staff person, organized this devotional and invited people to write for it. Enjoy!

December 5

A Love Note
Ethan Worthington

I am my beloved’s, and His desire is for me. Song of Solomon 7:10

 One of my favorite verses in all of Scripture comes from the Song of Solomon. It’s a  weird and quirky book–I dare you to read it and not be surprised that it made the  Bible cut. The Song of Solomon is an allegory of the relationship between God and  Israel expressed in a very unique way. And in a single verse it captures the entirety of God’s story with us: I am my beloved’s, and His desire is for me (7:10 nasb).

This verse landed on my radar in a completely different light a few years ago when I read Brennan Manning’s short reflections on God’s love for us in The Furious Manning writes, “The revolutionary thinking that God loves me as I am and not as I should be requires radical rethinking and profound emotional readjustment. Small wonder that the late spiritual giant Basil Hume of London, England, claimed that Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than that God loves them” (pp 75-6).

It’s one thing to believe that God exists, that He’s big and strong, and even good.  But it can be another thing to know or experience His gentle touch of love and care.  To believe, despite everything that you may have experienced in life or might be feeling now, that not only does God know you, but that He likes you, and loves you  with a gentleness and passion that springs from the purity of real love. The kind of love that is patient, self-giving and flexible. The kind that is not easily irritated by  you, and doesn’t constantly remind you that you don’t measure up–even though  That kind of love never gives up on you, never loses faith in you, is always hopeful  for you, and endures through every circumstance with you.

It’s one thing to think that God could be like that if He chose, or might really be like that some times, or with some people—the ones he actually likes. It’s another thing completely to hear Him say to you, ‘No my love, there is no other way between us.’ But that is the heart of it all. When everything is said and done you are your beloved’s, and His desire is for you.

 Spend some time throughout the day asking God to remind you of his wonderful Heavenly Father, it can be so difficult to believe how furious your love for me truly  is. By your grace remind me often in small and beautiful ways that I am yours, and you are mine so that I might treasure your love. Let it infiltrate all of my doubts and tear down all of the barriers that hold you at a distance. In the midst of all of the noise in my life help me to hear your words of love for me. Amen.

The week of December 2nd

3 12 2013

12-2-13 web


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