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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Spring Bible Study

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Hearing the King Flyer

Please join us for a time of Bible Study and prayer on Wednesday mornings at 9:15 at the FAS Ministry Center. Fiona Richardson will lead us as we springboard from last fall’s study of Luke and listen closely to the words of our King. We’d be thrilled to see you!

If you’re not in the area, be on the lookout for online videos and study sheets soon. We’d love to have you follow along.

If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to email erin.hill@francisasburysociety.com or call our office at 859.858.4222.

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The Gift of Christmas Continues

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A son will be given to us… And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace…From then on and forevermore. Isaiah 9:6-7a

Yes, the Christmas Holiday Season for this year is now over; gifts are all exchanged, parties are past, decorations are packed away in boxes and the characters and crèche for the Story of Christmas is stowed away out of sight until next year. Will they remain “out of mind” as well?

Through the hopelessness of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the way was prepared for the hope of the World!
Through the helplessness of Mary and a tiny little baby, strength was made perfect in weakness!
Through the humbled hopes of Joseph’s dream, Divine providence created a home for His Son!
Through the humiliating position of shepherding, the Good Shepherd was welcomed!
Through the hungering soul of Simeon, the Comforter is revealed in flesh!
Through the hurting emotions of Anna, the Prince of Peace is proclaimed!
Through the heathen nation of Gentiles, the Savior of the World is sought!

Indeed, God’s chosen vessels for the preparation of that very first Christmas should never be forgotten. Their acceptance of God’s will and obedient response to His miraculous,  perfect ways made ripples in the sea of man’s world and the scope of God’s heavenly plan for all eternity.

From the Father’s preparation, provision, protection and proclamation for the arrival of His baby son came the unchangeable, foundational principles by which you and I are intended and free to live—not only at Christmas, but each moment of every day. Jesus did not come to condemn our humanity but to be the center of all mankind who will give Him their hearts, their wills, and their human limitations.

The Heart of Christmas is astounding: “God So LOVED…” The message of Christmas is amazing:  “…the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” The provision for Christmas is mysterious: “The Word became flesh.” The reason of Christmas is a mercy: “…came not to condemn but to save.” The invitation from Christmas is miraculous: “whosoever believes….”  The promise of Christmas is marvelous: “shall not perish.” The Gift of Christmas is eternal: “but have everlasting life!” (John 3:16, I John 5:11) It’s Jesus!

Love came down at Christmas and Christmas continues…when LOVE is at the center of you and me!

A Special Invitation

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Summit Graphic with Text

Discipleship Summit 2013
April 18-20
Wilmot, Ohio

With the joy and delight of Jesus, Titus Women personally invites you, a sister in Christian fellowship, to prayerfully consider attending the 7th annual Titus Women’s Discipleship Summit, April 18-20. Perhaps you have previously attended a Summit, or this may well be your first. In either case, we are trusting Jesus to make a way for you to be a precious participant this year as we explore Living Faith – The Walk that Pleases God. As Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.”

The Summit is a time of renewal, inspiration, and participation as we grow together in knowing life in Christ Jesus as Savior, Center, and Source. Possessing a holy heart and living a life of scriptural holiness is the intention of the Father for all of those who belong to Him.

As in years past, the Summit will be held at the Inn at the Amish Door in Wilmot, Ohio. The $189 registration fee includes lodging (double occupancy), 3 meals, and retreat materials. For online registration, click here.

If you have any further questions, would just love to give an update on the work Jesus is doing in your life, or you would like to share a petition in need of prayer, it would be such a privilege to hear from you. YOU are very special! Titus Women is here for you with love and prayer.

Wise Women Still Seek Him

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“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews for we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him”… and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them…when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. Matthew 2:2, 9-10

Wise-Man-StarOften we emphasize and enjoy the visible and obvious evidence of the work of God to find our way and encourage our hearts. But in the characters of today’s last segment of the Christmas story, I am intrigued and challenged by the hidden attributes of God and unwritten truths which jump off the pages of His Word—the ones that for years I have missed. In man’s Christmas story, there are three wise men visiting the new born baby, giving their gifts from their many riches as kings. But in God’s story, I see a more mystifying yet beautiful picture painted before us.

“A star shall come forth from Jacob; A scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall crush through the forehead of Moab” (Numbers 24:17b)

We are not told the number of wise men who came to seek out the “King of the Jews” they had heard about through OT Testament prophecy. They left all they knew and owned to travel for miles (and no doubt months) to follow the one thing they understood best – a star. They were studiers of astrology. From their persistent study and love for the wonders of the heavens, they understood “it was time” for this king to appear because they saw “His” star in the East.

And when they found His star they rejoiced; when they saw the Child they worshipped. In the complete chapter of Isaiah 11, the Messiah’s Kingdom is described: it would be a kingdom like no other, one ruled not by harsh cruelty and unfair condemnation, but by One upon whom the Spirit of the Lord would rest. “The Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:1-2).

The Wise Men had risked the scoffing of their acquaintances and the wrath of the reigning hierarchy, everything just to see this Messiah. Did they ever dream this star would lead them to the very crushing of evil? Did they know they were part of fulfilling God’s Christmas Story and the first of the “uttermost parts of the world” to have the Gospel? “For the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10b).

No, the wise men did not understand all that was taking place that miraculous day when they reached the little Jesus. But with their human limitation of understanding and hearts committed to the truth of Yahweh’s Word, they found Who they were looking for—and all the world would be changed: “And a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6b)

The Christmas STAR is here! Our light has come! Am I seeking Him? Will I follow Him? “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16)

A Redeemer Will Come to Zion

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At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:38

A Redeemer will come to Zion… Isaiah 29:20a

Anna, daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, lost her husband after but eight years of marriage. In the midst of loss and the grief, there is no record of family or friends to surround her with encouragement and comfort. Even in her title of prophetess, we read nothing of a notable position, theological presentation, or even recognition. After all she is a woman, what is she doing at the temple anyhow? There is One who took note of her hurting heart: Yahweh! Now in her eighty-fourth year, while infant Jesus was being presented to the religious leaders of the Temple, “at that very moment …” Anna came.

The source from which this little widow seeks her solace is an undeniable legacy for all living in the midst of a hurting world – especially at Christmas.  God did not come to Anna because of what she had achieved for Him. With her hurting human soul, Anna chose to draw near to the heart of God, giving herself in worship: “She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers” (Luke 2:37). Anna’s faithful loyalty to the Father was rewarded: she was one of the first to witness the fulfillment of God’s promise proclaimed so many years ago. “For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:12b). Her redeemer had come! As she gazed upon the newly born Christ child, “she came up and began giving thanks to God …” (Luke 2:38a). In her ecstasy of celebration, Anna responded with the only response possible for one touched by God Himself – “she continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”(Luke 2:38b).

The “official” celebration of Christmas is past. How is my soul responding in the midst of a hurting world? Is Jesus enough for me, or have I exchanged “doing” for seeking and living in the true presence of Joy and Gladness – Christ Jesus?  “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing…O come, let us adore Him… Christ the Lord!” Christmas continues as the Father chooses a heart of worship to make ready the arrival of His Son – the Redeemer!

His Name is JESUS!

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“When eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” Luke 2:21

 “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him…” John 1:10-11

Jesus is here! Surely Mary and Joseph’s life would return to “normal.” Not so! There were laws to fulfill (Matthew 5:17), angry political leaders to reckon with (Isaiah 9:7), and a whole world to share the Good News with—their Savior is here (Luke 2:11). The Father of unfailing love continues to make the way for the reality of His Son – through another heart loyal to Yahweh.

Joseph and Mary were at the temple presenting baby Jesus to the Lord and offering a sacrifice according to the law (Luke 2:22-23). While fulfilling their duty, a man entered the temple at just the right time. “And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon Him. And it had been revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ [Messiah]. And he came in the Spirit into the temple…” (Luke 2:25-27, emphasis added).

Simeon was more than “religious” in believing there was a God. Simeon was a man of God’s Word; he knew the Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 9, 43, 49). His whole life was centered on God’s promise, giving him inner hunger for one desire—to see the Messiah, the hope, the comfort, the salvation of the World. He worshipped, he waited, he looked, and he listened for the “presence of promise” to be revealed! He had come! Oh, the indescribable joy and emotion Simeon was privileged to know as he held that divinely born human baby boy in his arms (Luke 2:28). He blessed God, blessed Jesus, and affirmed His parents with the truth of Old Testament prophecy of what is and what is to come (Luke 2:34-35).

The Greek Dictionary reveals that “consolation” derives its meaning from the Greek word paraklesis—comfort—the very same term from which the present Holy Spirit receives His title: The Paraklete, the Comforter. Did Simeon realize the very one he was looking for was already “overshadowing” his life, comforting, feeding, leading and keeping him for this very moment?

Oh the beautiful, mysterious, eloquent, and powerful truth of God’s Word. Through one loyal human life, hungering for the fulfillment of Yahweh’s Word, we see the first written account of mankind’s capability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to understand His purpose and delight in the presence of baby Jesus. God’s gift of Grace at Christmas is this: the Comforter has come—in flesh! Multitudes did not recognize him, the religious ignored him, “but, as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…” (John 1:10-12).

Simeon’s response? “Now Lord, You are releasing your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke2 32, emphasis added). His comfort was complete –he knew Jesus!

Good news: Christmas continues! Is my life centered in the comforter? Oh, what God will do for the hungry heart of humanity.