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December 2023 Tablet

Volume 19, Issue 12
St. Augustine Evangelical Bible Church, Cor. Agostini & Bellesmythe Sts. Curepe


 

Editorial

The 11 Rays of Christmas

 

Everyone knows the song 'The 12 Days of Christmas', but the '11 Rays of Christmas'? We normally associate the number 11 with the size of a football or cricket team.


The true message and meaning of Christmas is Jesus Christ. As a result of love coming down to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, there are 11 rays among many others that shine on us, illuminating the otherwise darkness of our lives. Let us remind ourselves of each ray one by one.


The first ray is Joy. Nehemiah 8:10 says: 'The joy of the Lord is your strength.' Jesus Christ has brought joy into our lives; not just a happiness that depends on circumstances or the thrill and excitement of a moment. It is a deep-seated joy that His presence gives us through the ups and downs of life. Thank God for His joy!


The second ray is Eternal Life. Instead of the wages of sin and destruction that we should be paid for our sinfulness, recklessness, rebellion and disobedience, we received 'the gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Romans 6:23). Hallelujah! We have the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ.


The third ray is Satisfaction. Nobody else and nothing else can quench the thirsting of our hearts. Anything or anyone else that we try will be like drinking salty sea water. In Jeremiah 2:13 the Lord says: 'My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.' May we daily drink of Jesus Christ, the spring of living water. He is refreshing, satisfying water that is cool, clear and clean!


The fourth ray is Understanding. Because God became a man He understands all that we go through. As Hebrews 2:18 says of Jesus: 'Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.' He knows us inside out, yet thank God, He still loves us.


The fifth ray is Security. How we long for security for our families and ourselves in T&T. Although we should do all that is physically possible, we also need to seek the Lord's protection. But as important as that type of security is, there is one that is even more important: our overall security. Proverbs 18:10 says: 'The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.' Thank the Lord that we can place every area of our lives in His safe and secure hands.


If these 5 rays were the only ones that Jesus has shone into our lives, removing the darkness, these would be more than enough. But there are 6 more.


The 6th ray is Christ-likeness. Because Jesus Christ lives in us, we can be changed to be more like Him. The Holy Spirit produces His fruit in our lives as Galatian 5:21-22 so beautifully describes. Thank the Lord that He is working in us to remove the negative things in us and replacing them with His Christ-likeness.


The 7th ray is Hope. Jesus Christ is our Hope. Amidst the reality of the uncertainties of disaster, despair, depression and the onslaught of crises, emergencies and grief, there is a ray of hope: The Lord is our Hope. He has our backs. We must keep our faith and trust in Him. 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...' so our hope is in Him.


The 8th ray is Relationship. Because of what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross and resurrection, we can have a personal, close, vibrant and real relationship with Him. How wonderful that we can enjoy the Lord. John 14:23b says: 'The Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home in him.'


The 9th ray is Incarnation. The 'Word became flesh' says John 1:14. God became a man. If Jesus Christ did not come to earth, we would never fully understand who God is; there is too big a gap. Jesus Christ, wholly God and wholly man has bridged the gap. Jesus says in John 14, 'he who has seen me has seen the Father.'


The 10th ray is Service. Hallelujah! Because of all that Jesus has done for is, we have the privilege of being in the service of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. What a great privilege and honour! Let us serve Him with passion, faithfulness and joy.


The last ray is Thankfulness. As we look back at the last 10 rays, how can we not well up in overflowing thanks to the Lord? We owe Him everything. As we give Him thanks, He blesses us with His love, joy and peace..' Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.'


This Christmas season let us remember to keep our focus on Jesus Christ. Let us remind one another of the 11 rays of Christmas:


Joy

Eternal life

Satisfaction

Understanding

Security


Christ-likeness

Hope

Incarnation

Service

Thankfulness


It is all about Jesus Christ. May His Rays shine through us to others this Christmas and always!


 

Missions

Bringing hope to the hurting

 


A few years ago Inter School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) began partnering with youth leaders with a passion for evangelism in a program called "School Tours". They would visit schools that either had an ISCF group, or was planning to start an ISCF group, and put on a program that included songs, drama, dance and testimonies. At the end of the program, the gospel would be shared, and the names of those who responded to the salvation call would be passed on to the ISCF clubs in the schools for follow up. I was never involved in these outreaches before, but this year I felt God nudging me in that direction. I thought I would help with praying for the students after the program, but God clearly had more in mind.


I was invited to attend a meeting on the Saturday before the School Tours began. We spent time in prayer for the outreach, then the rehearsals began. We used songs with lyrics that pointed to the new life that is available in Christ despite mistakes of the past. For each song, we did a skit to dramatize the message in the song. The skits covered topics such as alcoholism, drug abuse, incest, rape, homosexuality, abortion, suicide and searching for identity and acceptance. For each skit, we rotated the persons playing the different roles, because we were not guaranteed to have the same persons available for every school visit and wanted everyone to feel confident to jump in any role as needed.



This term we visited schools in the East, from St. Augustine to Sangre Grande, over a period of 5 weeks. Most weeks we visited one school in the morning and another one at lunchtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In some of the schools, we had the privilege of sharing with the entire school body during their morning assembly. In other schools, we were given the lunch period so we had to invite students to join us, and they did in their numbers. At a few schools, there were specific classes which were assigned to come to our presentations. We walked with our PA system and used whatever space was granted to us, from auditoriums to drama theatres to adjoining classrooms. Hundreds of students heard the gospel message through our presentations.



It was amazing to me how the culture in each school was so different. In some students the students were eager to find out why we were there and what we came to do. In others, we had to work a bit harder to get the students interested. Some schools encouraged the students to stay back afterwards if they needed prayer or someone to talk to; others were very strict about when we had to finish and wrap up so the students could go to their classes. But in every single school we visited, God was at work in powerful ways.


After sharing the skits and our testimonies, students recognized that they could identify with many of the issues which were highlighted. They came up to us afterwards to talk, some of them breaking down in tears so all we could do was pray for them. Some students shared about struggles they were dealing with that they had never spoken about before with anyone. It was a beautiful to see how sharing our stories of how God transformed our lives impacted these young people, and gave us an opportunity to encourage them with the hope that is available in Christ. One student who was struggling with suicidal thoughts shared how they almost didn't come to school that day, but God ensured that they came so they could hear the message that God is a present help in any difficulty they may be experiencing.


One conversation that stood out to me was with a student who was experiencing some major challenges at home. She mentioned that she thought that things would get better if she gave her life to Christ. I shared with her that having a relationship with God doesn't guarantee that life would be problem free, but the difference is that we will have His help and strength to endure the challenges. We recognized that our young people are dealing with a lot of serious issues, and many of them don't have the necessary support systems available. We are trusting God that those who took that step of faith to open up would respond to the invitation to attend the ISCF meetings where they can get the spiritual support they need.


At one school we visited, there was no ISCF Club, because there was no teacher who had agreed to run the group. When we visited, one of the staff workers asked the Principal if he could think of one Christian who might be willing to lead the group, and he suggested someone. The staffworker spoke to her, and she agreed to serve as the sponsor! At that same school, one student expressed her surprise at how many of her peers responded to the call to commit their lives to Christ. She thought that she was the only Christian in her school. We are grateful to God that they now know that they are not alone in their journey of living for Jesus.


We thank God for the doors which were opened to allow us to minister to students in these schools, and we pray that for every student who made that commitment of faith, that they would be willing to take the next steps to grow in their relationship with Christ. Please continue to lift up our young people in prayer, especially those who are dealing with serious issues, that they would find strength in Christ to endure and overcome.




 

What's On

This Month

 

 

Fun Corner


 
A WORD TO THE WISE SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT…

All of my bills say ‘Outstanding’, I have to be doing really well.


Don’t do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset!


I asked my daughter to pass me a newspaper. She told me that newspapers are ‘old school’. She said that people use tablets nowadays and handed me her iPad. The mosquito didn’t stand a chance!


If you call me from a private number, I will respect your privacy and not answer.


Can you explain why a vegetarian diet is good for losing weight when they use grain to fatten pigs?


Someone told me that the way to find inner peace is to finish whatever I start. So I just finished a box of chocolates and a cheesecake, and I feel better already.


 

This Month's

Prayer & Praises

 
Let’s Pray Without Ceasing
  • The Yearwood’s

    • Please pray for protection as we travel. We arrive in Trinidad mid December finishing the year there and connect with our young adult children.

    • Please pray for our relationships in Cabouxanque. Lift up Imam Soni as he particularly drops by and has meaningful conversations with Ron on the topics of faith, life and assurance of salvation.

    • Continue to pray for Sanasi and Philomen and their daily needs as well as that they will continue to grow spiritually. They will begin in December to make bricks for their home and also bricks for us so we can expand and have a place for guests.

    • Pray for the believers in Ojague that they also will continue to practice dependence on their saviour. Pray for Yera and Kali and Mamoudou and their families to stand firm in their belief. May they know Him as Jehovah Jireh.

    • Please remember our young adults, RoHn, RaHndell and Renée.

    • Continue to lift up the empowerment project and pray that more contracts be gotten.

    • Pray for missionaries and others you may know serving and living in areas where there is not even a hint of the end-of-year festivities and are away from their loved ones.

  • For our Christmas Program both at Campo and SAEBC


Let’s Give Thanks
  • The Real Reason for The Season- Christ Birth, which lead to His life- the blueprint for how we should live, His Death- the ultimate sacrifice, price for our sins, His Resurrection- blood of the new covenant

  • The Yearwoods

    • We are grateful that we got our needed visas and ID cards sorted out for coming in and out of both countries where we work among the Tandas. Thanks for praying for dryer roads. We were able to get back into the village safely.

    • The aquaponic project is going well minus minor setbacks. The fish are alive and growing and many are rooting for its success here.

    • We are very thankful for the time in the village connecting with the believers from Ojague as well as the community in Cabouxanque where we both had a lot of quality time being with the people.


 

Upcoming

Preaching Schedule

 
Theme
Love Came Down

Memory Verse:

“But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." -Luke 2:10-11

DATES

SPEAKER

TOPIC

DEC 03

Pastor Francis Warner

 

TBD

John 14:21- 31 • Love and Obedience: 4 Exciting Gifts Enabling Love and Obedience

 

Communion Service

DEC 10

Noel Rose

Matt 1:18-25 & 2:13-23 • Love Came Down...to the couple in love


Sean Lorde

Speaker at RLMI at Campoo

DEC 17

Jasmine Benjamin

Luke 2:8-20 • Love Came Down...to the lowly shepherds in the field

DEC 24

Pastor Francis Warner

Special Christmas Service: Love Came Down

DEC 25

DEC 31 AM

NO SERVICE

DEC 31 PM

Pastor Kelvin Mapp

Old Year;s Night Service • John 21:1-25

TIMES

SERVICE

9:00 AM

Sunday Service

10:00 AM

Sunday Junior Church

11:30 AM

Sunday School

6:00 PM

Wednesday CBSI

7:15 PM

Wednesday Prayer Meeting


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