“God is good!” “Yes He is good always!” Even when one seems to be in the valley of death, God is with you. I know for a fact. The darkest of times have never overcome the light of Christ. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year, since I came here to Green Hill. And what a wonderful year. When I came I wasn’t prepared for the time. Instead of helping you through a transition Susan and I have been blessed with such riches that I have told many that this year has been the BEST retirement celebration a person can ever have. A whole year of celebration!!! Darkness never had a chance.
As I move into the future I am now so excited. God’s grace will surely make the future a holy even just as he has today and this past year. My challenge for each of you this New Year is to keep your eyes open to the possibilities and remember that as you go forward, God himself has a holy time for you and the church.
PRAYER LIST NAMES
Please note that on the first Sunday in January, the church office will start off the New Year with a new prayer list. We are going to remove everyone and start fresh. If you know of someone who should remain on the list, or of someone who needs to be added to the list, please contact the church office. Thank you.
CAFÉ HOSTS & USHERS
Thank you to everyone who has signed up to be a café host in January. We are happy to see that all of the slots have been claimed. We greatly appreciate your service to the church.
We are seeking volunteers to sign up to be ushers in January. We need a team of two people to greet visitors, pass out bulletins, and to collect the offering. The sign-up sheet is located in the kitchen serving area. Thank you to our volunteers!
BIBLE STUDY HELPERS NEEDED!
The afterschool Bible Study is looking for a helper for the Tuesday afternoon class. Beginning in January, we need someone to be at the church ready to help at 3pm and to stay until 5-5:15pm. We also need subs to fill in for the Monday and Tuesday classes, when the regular volunteers are not available. Please see April Seery for more information.
BRIDAL SHOWER FOR HANNAH
All of the ladies of the church are invited to a Bridal Shower for Hannah Lawrence on Saturday, January 16, at 2pm. Everyone is asked to bring finger food to share. If you have any suggestions for fun party games, please contact April Seery.
Hannah and her fiancé, Michael Hall, are getting married in Madison, AL, on February 6. Their wedding registry can be found at Bed Bath & Beyond.
GREEN HILL GIVING PLATE
The purpose of the plate is to share with our members, friends and family at a time when they need a lift and a reminder of God’s unending Love for us. Take it and leave a note at the office as to who is using it. The plate can be found in the kitchen. The person or persons receiving the Love gift of food may return the plate to Green Hill or the person using the plate so it can be used again. Spread God’s Love this holiday season.
GREEN HILL WOMEN
The SARCOA Santa for Seniors project was a huge success. Our needy recipient received all of her requested items as well as many extras, thanks to you.
The annual Christmas party was held on December 4. It was large in fellowship, food, and fun. Those who missed it, missed a good time – and, we missed you.
On January 14, 2015, the Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team will meet at 10:00am. The Bible Study will be held at 11:00am.
Have a wonderful, safe holiday and a blessed 2016.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
TOYS FOR TOTS
The Toys for Tots distribution in Enterprise was a great success again this year. Family Services took over the Green Hill Fellowship Hall for two days in December, filling it with a truck load of toys that had been delivered by the Marines. Each family had been specially assigned a bag of toys, based on the number and ages of their children. In total, 190 families (nearly 600 children) were given toys. Green Hill is very proud to be a part of this annual event.
ENTERPRISE HOMESCHOOL “COUNTRY CLUB”
For January, the Enterprise Homeschool “Country Club” will feature Ireland. Please see the group Facebook page for date, time, and student assignments.
ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP
The next Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 20, at 10:00am. Many of us are caring for individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Our meetings consist of education, guest speakers, sharing, and prayer. Let’s share caregiving approaches we’ve tried and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can care for yourself during this challenging time. We want all caregivers to understand the disease and to know that they are not alone.
Information for the February Green Hill Good Newsletter needs to be submitted to the church office by Thursday, January 21. You can contact the office by email or by phone, or you can drop your news off in the basket on the door. Many thanks to those who contribute!
Out with the old and in with the new…..Congregational Care is revamping and reforming for a new year and a new Green Hill. If you are a member of the Congregation or PW you are already on this committee. (Congregation Care is not for just the women it is a Christian Duty so men too.) First meeting is 4:30 p.m. January 6th. (just before the potluck dinner) We will go over new guidelines for Congregational Care. We need better communication to prevent overlapping of duties between other committees and CC. I am looking forward to a new Green Hill as we step into the future. –Kimberli
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
FOR THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
by Dr. Walter J. Lawrence
Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”
The books of the Old Testament are a history of God’s involvement with His creation, concentrating upon the Hebrew people and the development of the nation of Israel. The books are a compilation of history, laws, prophecy, poetry, and wisdom that show God’s continued relationship with His chosen people, and how that relationship developed and flourished and is reflected in their culture. Throughout the Old Testament we repeatedly see evidence of God’s faithfulness and abiding love for His people, as well as His responsiveness to their needs and entreaties. An important aspect when studying God’s involvement with His people is to note that He is constantly involved with His people in a personal and direct way, regardless of their relationship to Him.
In the early chapters of the book of Genesis, we see how God created the world and placed mankind in that environment. However, mankind soon became dissatisfied with what they were given, and in Genesis 3, we see how sin entered in. God repeatedly tried to reestablish his initial relationship with his creation culminating in the purging of the earth in the Great Flood recorded in Genesis 6, but even after this event, mankind would not respond. God then reached out to His creation through Abram, when he declared to him, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Abram had no children, but God promised to him, “… a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.… Look up at the sky and count the stars-if indeed you can count them… So shall your offspring be.” God entered into an everlasting covenant with Abram, now renamed Abraham. “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.… I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside is a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” From this point, we will look at examples of God’s continued faithfulness and abiding love for His chosen people.
God foretold of the enslavement of the Hebrew people for 400 years in Egypt at the time of the formation of the Abrahamic covenant. God sent Moses to deliver the Hebrew people from their bondage and slavery under Pharaoh. After a series of ten signs consisting of miraculous events and plagues upon Egypt, culminating with the Passover, Pharaoh relented and allowed the release of the Hebrew people. Pharaoh then sought to destroy the Hebrew people, but God provided for their safe passage by parting the waters of the Red Sea, and the subsequent destruction of Pharaoh’s army as the waters of the sea cascaded over that army. God then showed his continuing care for His people over the next 40 years as they wandered through the wilderness. He faithfully provided for their sustenance on a daily basis through the provision of manna. When they needed water, and cried out for it, God provided for ample water supplies. They did not require clothing, as their clothing to not wear out for the 40 years of their wanderings. God gave guidance to the development of the Hebrews as an emerging nation in the moral directives in the 10 Commandments and the foundation for their society in the 613 laws of the Mosaic Code.
Upon the death of Moses, Joshua became the new leader of the Hebrew people and led them across the divinely parted waters of the Jordan River. Under God’s direction, the Hebrews subdued other tribes inhabiting the land promised to them, thereby establishing the nation of Israel.
Although the leaders of Israel repeatedly encouraged their nation to remember God and commanded them to follow His laws, in the time after Joshua the people continued to follow their own desires rather than God. In turn, God would allow them to be punished for their sin and rebelliousness, but after a period of time would send a leader to restore the people in their theocracy, as recorded in the Book of Judges. Eventually, the Israelites clamored for a human king, like other nations had. The prophet Samuel tried to warn the Israelites and counseled them about the dangers inherent to human kings, but the Israelites refused to listen. God relented and directed Samuel to anoint Saul to be their King, thereby responding to the desires of the His people and allowing them to exist under a monarchy. As a monarchy continued under David, whom God promised in the Davidic covenant that his throne would be everlasting, who was then succeeded by his son Solomon, and Rehoboam, the structure of the monarchy eventually crumbled, and divided into two Hebrew kingdoms. Those kingdoms were then conquered by foreign powers, the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and the Hebrew people geographically and spiritually led away in exile from their nation of Israel. Still, God continued to watch over His people. Although the nation was taken in captivity, God continued to hear the cries of his people, eventually restoring them as a nation. Under the reigns of the foreign kings of Cyrus and Darius, He caused for His people to be reunified in Jerusalem and reunited into the nation of Israel. Under the guidance of the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, He providing for rebuilding the temple, the city, and the wall surrounding Jerusalem.
During the phases of exile and reunification, we see the most intense amount of prophecy recorded. The prophets foretold the restoration of Israel, the defeat of their enemies, God’s punishment of Israel for their sins as well as their reconciliation to Him, and the coming of the long-awaited Messiah.
The New Testament concludes this phase in the history of Israel when God sends His son to redeem His people from their sins fulfilling the prophecy in the person of Jesus Christ, who is uniquely both divine and human. In Jesus Christ, we see the completion and fulfillment of the Mosaic Code of the Old Testament. Indeed, Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” He repeatedly demonstrated an expansion of the mosaic code by giving emphasis to those laws by applying them in the spirit of the law rather than in precise legalities and punishments.
The Old Testament is a precursor to the New Testament, and an appreciation for and an improved knowledge and understanding of its contents only adds to the depth of understanding in the writings of the New Testament, expanding our love and appreciation for Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Old Testament serves as a written witness to God’s continued presence and involvement in our lives today.