And Again I Say Rejoice

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How much happier we’ll be if we rejoice for what God is doing here and now, every day and every hour of our lives.

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness (p. 50). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Encouragement

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13

I have a friend named Harry. Harry is a young German man who is exceptional in my mind for many reasons. One is that he is a single man in the mission field. Those guys are super rare. Another is that he is a German and a Christian. Some of the best people we know are German, but there are not too many Christians in Germany. And so those believers have a faith that is real and active as it has stood up to misunderstanding and ridicule. But probably the thing that is the most outstanding to me about Harry is that he likes to encourage people. He will come to me on some mornings with a big smile on his face (like always) and give me a quote from Oswald Chambers. Or he will remember to me something I said in a sermon at church. He encourages me, and it reminds me that we are to encourage one another. Encouragement stirs our faith, and it helps us to open our eyes to the deceitfulness of sin. We need each other, and as one body in Christ we need to take care of one another. Let us encourage each other daily.

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Harry holding this young boy while his father is off attending to the mother while she has a second baby.

 

CHSC Christmas Greetings – New Missionaries – Click the Link

Christmas, a beautiful time of year to appreciate those that we love and those that love us!  Christian Health Service Corps has an amazing family!  It includes us-the Administrative Staff in the USA, each missionary and their beautiful families, and you-our partners!  Without each member of this family, none of our work would be possible. We are so grateful for your prayers and support! 

Below are the new members of the CHSC missionary family whose compassionate work you have helped make possible in 2016. We have introduced some of them already but we wanted to share them all together! 

Together, we are the hands and feet of Jesus! 

Merry Christmas,
Greg & Candi
CHSC Founders                         

Merry Christmas!

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Feliz Nochebuena from our family to yours!

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NYTimes: Am I a Christian, Pastor Timothy Keller?

This is a great example from Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City on how to respectfully and truthfully engage cultural questions. Read it from the New York Times link located below.

Christians believe that it is those who admit their weakness and need for a savior who get salvation. If access to God is through the grace of Jesus, then anyone can receive eternal life instantly. This is why “born again” Christianity will always give hope and spread among the “wretched of the earth.”

Am I a Christian, Pastor Timothy Keller?

 

Great Joy

SCRIPTURE’S GOOD NEWS IS OF “GREAT JOY,” NOT “GREAT DUTY.”

Mike Mason writes, “No one would become a Christian if this hard decision were not accompanied by stupendous joy.”[ 10]

The Puritans, never accused of being trendy, talked a great deal about Christian happiness. Scottish theologian Samuel Rutherford (1600– 1661) wrote to Lady Kenmure, “I have neither tongue nor pen to express to you the happiness of such as are in Christ.”[ 11]

Baptist pastor Octavius Winslow (1808– 1878) said, “The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness  — with such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?”[ 12] It was a rhetorical question  — who could possibly have more reason to rejoice than one who knows Jesus?

When the gospel is viewed primarily as laying burdens and obligations on people, the Good News gets buried. Burdens and obligations are not good news; good news is about liberation, deliverance, newfound delight, and daily celebration. Sure, duty is real and the gospel calls us to a life of obedience, but it’s glad duty and joyful obedience.

There’s an age-old tradition of Christ-followers who have found their deepest happiness in their Lord. We should eagerly join them and say with English Puritan John Flavel (1627– 1691), “Christ [is] the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean . .  . so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.”[ 13]

Alcorn, Randy (2015-09-17). Happiness (p. 24). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

 

Christmas Party

The best miracles are the stories of a miraculously changed lives. The best place to be during Christmas time are with your friends and family celebrating life, God’s grace of sending Jesus Christ. From the Diospi Suyana Hospital website, the story of the annual Christmas party.

Christmas in a sardine tinfestgemeinde-slider

But for three hours it was the best place to be in Curahuasi

One could call it “the same procedure as every year”: the Christmas party for all the staff of the Hospital Diospi Suyana.  It has become a tradition that the director gives his end-of-the-year review and thanks all staff. Musical contributions come next, followed by a delicious dinner and a gift bag for each member of staff.  The number of people in the auditorium grows yearly.  Tables were set for 224 people – this number should exhaust the room’s capacity.  The Colegio had their Christmas Party at the same time.  But this year was a memorable celebration for everyone.  Why? Because of head chef Michael.

The popular chef has headed the hospital’s kitchen for several years.  Everyone knows and likes the affable colleague.  It was his own wish to address us and as he went up to the microphone we waited with bated breath for what he was going say.  None of us wanted to miss even one of his words.  Michael told us about his two lives: the one without, the other with God.

“I had made a right old mess of my life,” he says dryly.  “I was a hero of the wine bottle and liked to enjoy myself.  But I was not there for my wife and children.”  He continued describing his life – a life that is lived by so many in South America.  “But then I became a Christian and this turned my life upside down!”

In doing so Michael is sharing his own Christmas Story.  God became flesh, because he loves us.  Change is possible.  We must not keep on being the same person.  Christmas has more to it than candles, pudding and presents.  The power of the crucified and risen child in the manger is real.

The kitchen chef is about to embark on his theological training.  He burns with a fire of thankfulness towards God.  We wish him God’s richest blessings for the new stage of his life. /KDJ

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Lyrical Ballades. Jesus Hurtado at the piano accompanies Jose Saenz playing the saxophone.

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Head chef Michael tells us about his story.

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21 turkeys are being prepared in a nearby bakery.

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In the waiting room hangs the Star of Bethlehem.