For the month of December we will be talking about joy – finding a way to be happy even when things don’t go your way.
Joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances, but rather it’s
about being content beyond our circumstances. We can have joy when we recognize that God’s plan is greater than our own. Our joy is a response to our trust in God.
So many of us spend our days chasing happiness—looking for that one thing that will finally make us happy. But when life takes a disappointing turn, happiness fades and we’re back on the hunt.
This is where joy is different. Joy will thrive in life’s triumphs and endure through life’s challenges. Joy is a deep, sincere way to approach life that allows us to know that the hard times will make us stronger and draw us closer to God. Having joy may not mean always wearing a smile, but joy lets us reflect God’s love and shine through the dark moments in life.
This month, let’s think about how:
(1) Choosing joy is not always easy.
(2) The Bible challenges us to respond to life’s challenges with joy.
(3) Showing joy in all circumstances proves that God is at work within us.
Below is the Monthly Parent Cue that helps keep you tracking with our Sunday lessons. Also keep an eye on our twitter and Facebook feeds for tips and ways to start great conversations with kids.
This week’s bottom line is “I can’t have joy because anything is possible with God.” Below is the God time cards to share with your child. This provides a simple framework so that they can have some God time every day.
Are you expecting, or do you have a child who is a newborn through kindergartener?
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a great place to find lasting friendships, helpful resources, and support for you as a woman, a wife, and a mother. Join us for a delicious breakfast, advice from seasoned moms and speakers, and fun crafts. We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 9:30-11:30 at Shoreline Community Church in the Pacific room (family worship room) beginning on January 28th. Registration is a flat $75 no matter how many children you are enrolling in MOPPETS. Moms are required to be on-call for one hour of one meeting to help in childcare, if needed. Contact Shelley Grahl at MOPS@shorelinechurch.org if you have any questions.
Shoreline MOPS invites you to join us in loving and accepting the blessed lives we have been created for in celebrating this year’s theme, “A Beautiful Mess.” Moms live in messes. The toys, crumbs, and spit-up are their natural surroundings. Moms often feel like a mess. They are exhausted, under-showered, and hormonal. Their past and present circumstances and decisions can leave them feeling inadequate for God’s love and purposes. “A Beautiful Mess” reminds moms that beauty can come out of their difficult spots. The grime of mothering young children brings the beauty of motherhood. The bruises of life can bring God’s redemption. “Embrace Your Story” reminds moms that their past, present, and future can be used for good. God knows where each of us has been, where we are today and has set in motion where we are headed.
We encourage you to visit our Facebook page for up-to-date play dates, information regarding the spring semester, and activities for moms only: www.facebook.com/ShorelineMops. Hope to see you January 28th!
Reading Plan for next week’s message
Memorize/Reflect: “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” (Psalm 134:2)
Prayer Direction: Take a walk outside (if you are able) and touch at least ten things you normally walk past. It could be a dog you pet, a leaf you pick up and look at, a piece of trash you throw away. On your walk, thank God for the beauty of His creation.
“Live It!” Challenge – Hug, Handshake, or High Five: Use these three “H’s” to remind you to connect with people through the day. Set a goal to make physical contact with at least five people in your day with one of these “H’s.” After the hug, handshake, or high five, say a quiet prayer in your heart for God’s blessing on each person.
Growth Group Discussion:
- What are outward signs that a person is truly living a thankful life? What are a few outward signs that a person needs an infusion of fresh thankfulness?
- Read: John 13:3-17. How did the hands of Jesus model grace, service, and thankfulness in this passage and in other places in the Bible?
- What are some practical and specific ways we can use our hands to bless others in the course of a normal day?
- What is one way you feel God wants you to serve with greater commitment and humility and how can your group members pray for you as you seek to become more like Jesus in the way you serve?
- Read: Matthew 4:18-22. What do you think went through the minds of these men when Jesus called them to follow Him? How did their lives change?
- What are some of the things these four men would have missed or never seen had they not set their feet in a new direction and followed Jesus?
- What is one great thing you would have missed had you not decided to walk with Jesus and become His follower?
- Tell about one significant way your life has changed since you set your feet to follow Jesus.
Gifts Worth Keeping
Let’s just be very, very honest. We all receive Christmas gifts that are not worth keeping. The list is long: Bad ties, fruitcake, most things marked “As Seen on T.V.” almost any Christmas sweater ever made, a bass mounted on a plaque that sings, and the list goes on! This Christmas we will look at six gifts that Jesus offers that are worth keeping. These gifts will never break, run out of batteries, go out of style, or stop fitting us. Join us for the Christmas season at Shoreline Community Church as we discover Gifts Worth Keeping and we celebrate Jesus, the giver of every good gift.
Services times are: Sunday Morning – 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m. AND Monday Night – 6:30 p.m.
(Sign Language interpretation at 11:30 a.m. service)
Christmas Eve Services 2013
2pm / 4pm / 11p
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Our mission is to help as many people as possible become totally committed to Jesus Christ!
Join us on Sunday, December 15th at 4pm or 7pm for the Annual Shoreline Christmas Concert! This community event will be a time of enjoying great Christmas music performed by Shoreline musicians in a variety of musical styles. This is a free event, but tickets are required. Invite your friends and neighbors to this evening of celebrating the Christmas season through music. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org.