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Praise Thursday – It’s time to talk about Christmas!

Our new Devotional series:

Hidden Christmas By Timothy Keller

A LIGHT HAS DAWNED

Isaiah 9:2, 5-7:

Verses 2  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”

Verses 5-7: “Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

#1

One of the first indications of the Christmas season is LIGHT. The appearance of lights seemingly everywhere – on trees, with candles, above streets; there is radiance all around us.

Lights are not just for decoration, of course, they are symbolic.

In his book, Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller says one of the most important spiritual truths at Christmas is this: the world is a dark place, and we will never find our way or see reality unless Jesus IS our light.

Keller writes that the word ‘darkness’ in the Bible refers to evil and ignorance. The world has evil and untold suffering. The world also has no one who can cure the evil and suffering. We look towards the earth and our human resources to try to fix the world. We think we can end darkness with intellect and innovation. That’s the ignorance.

So the message of Christmas is NOT, “we will be able to put together a world of unity and peace.” The message, instead, is a humble one: “Things really are this bad and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Nevertheless, THERE IS HOPE.”

Notice the verse in Isaiah doesn’t say the light comes from the world…it says that upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from the outside, and Jesus has brought that light to save us! Because, as John 8:12 says, He IS that light!

#2

Notice the verse in Isaiah doesn’t say the light comes from the world…it says that upon the world a light has dawned. The light has come from the outside, and Jesus has brought that light to save us! Because, as John 8:12 says, He IS that light!

So how can this divine light “dawn” upon us? Verses 6 and 7 answers with what Timothy Keller calls a stunning directness.

The light has come “for unto us a child is born.” This child is the “wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

If we embrace this, we understand the significance of its meaning – the creator of the universe is “born to us!” Jesus is fully God and fully human. There’s nothing like this claim in any of the other major religions of the world.

Think about this: it’s almost too limiting to say that we celebrate this at Christmas…yes, we do celebrate, but don’t we also have moments at Christmas where we stare dumbstruck and lose ourselves a bit in wonder, love, and praise?

The implication of God being born into our world, of choosing to become one of us, is overwhelming! Jesus is the divine light of the world, because he brings a new life to replace our spiritual deadness, shows us the truth to heal our spiritual blindness…and is the beautiful light that can help break our addictions to anything from money to power.

Keller writes, “the promises of Christmas cannot be discerned until you first admit that you can’t save yourself or even know yourself without the light of his unmerited grace in your life – it’s a foundational truth!”

We gave away two tickets to the MVNU performance of G. F. Handel’s Messiah on December 8th! Congrats to our friend from Mount Vernon who was caller number three and won those tickets! Click HERE to find out more about MVNUs performance of G. F. Handel’s Messiah.

Thanks for listening to The Afternoon Drive!

-Hannah and Todd

 

Who Knew Wednesday!

Today on Who Knew Wednesday Joe and I shared a bunch of information about the advent season!

We shared some information from Rob L. Staples who is a professor of theology emeritus at Nazarene Theological Seminary.

Advent is preparation for Christmas, not Christmas itself. It is only in commercial advertising that the Christmas season begins the first of December (or the first of October!). In the Christian calendar, Advent is the season including the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Christmas Day is December 25, and the Christmas Season itself is the 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany. Remember the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” with “a partridge in a pear tree?”

Epiphany, which celebrates the coming of the Magi, the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as King, is January 6. Epiphany means “showing” or “unveiling” and thus “unveils” the truth that salvation was for Gentiles as well as Jews.

Advent differs from Christmas in the same way Lent differs from Easter. Both Advent and Lent are times of preparation—Advent for Christmas and Lent for Easter.

The Christian calendar, unlike the calendar on our walls or desks, does not begin January 1. It begins the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is that season when the Church turns its gaze in two directions—past and future. It looks backward as it prepares to celebrate the birth of Christ in Bethlehem, and it looks forward as it engages in self-examination in preparation for Christ’s Second Coming in glory.

The word “advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” Thus in certain contexts, it means the same as the Greek parousia. However, the latter term occurs in the New Testament only with reference to the Second Coming. During the Advent season, both these “comings” of Christ are embraced in the Church’s worship—His coming in the Incarnation and His coming at the end of the age.

Advent emphasizes hope, and it is this hope that makes Advent a proper preparation for Christmas.

Christian prayer during Advent might be summed up in the word “Come.” It is the “Come, Lord Jesus” with which the Book of Revelation ends. Some of the Advent hymns blend the joy of the Good News of Christ’s nativity with the expectation of the Second Coming. The hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” expresses the Advent hope, as does Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus.” Although Christ has been present in the world all along, we pray for His presence to take on a special intensity during Advent (Matthew 28:20).

God’s advent among us is so profound that we can never fully grasp the mystery of incarnate deity. So we must continue to remember and experience anew, year after year, the reality of light in the midst of the world’s darkness. At Advent, we experience the fear and joy and hope that Christian worship expresses in the story of God’s coming to judge the world in the form of a helpless Child lying in a manager who was to give His life to save His people from their sins.

This sheds light on our Christmas celebrations. Christmas is far richer and deeper than a mere sentimental remembrance of the birth of Jesus. Of course, we should value the

tenderness of the image of the “sweet little Jesus boy, born in a manger,” but Christmas means much more.

“Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!” is a reminder that the One who came to Bethlehem is indeed our Redeemer—the One into whose dying and rising we are baptized (Rom. 6:4), just as He was baptized in the Jordan and into our human condition.

As we move toward Christmas, let us not skip Advent!

What we see as we worship may be almost as important as what we hear. Some churches use an Advent wreath as an aid to worship during the Advent season. It is a circular evergreen wreath with five candles, four around the edge of the wreath and one in the center.

Usually, three candles are purple (the color of Advent), and one pink or rose-colored. The three purple candles may represent hope, peace, and love. The pink or rose candle stands for joy at the soon advent of the Savior.

On each Sunday of Advent, one new candle is lighted, accompanied by appropriate Scripture reading. In the center is a white candle, called the Christ Candle, which is lighted on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or if there are no services on those days it may be lighted on the fourth Sunday of Advent, along with the pink candle.

We also played the Christmas Gift Exchange! Congratulations to Becky from Mount Vernon who got to play and pick something from under our tree and was registered to win our grand prize! Click HERE if you want more information.

Here is our Troyer’s Trivia question:

Can you name two out of the top five of the worst gifts from the 12 days of Christmas?

Answers:

  1. Maids a milking – 19 
  2. Lords a Leaping – 18 
  3. Geese a Laying – 14 
  4. Drummers Drumming – 11 
  5. Partridge in a Pear Tree – 11 
  6. Calling Birds – 7
  7. Pipers Piping – 6
  8. Turtle Doves – 6
  9. French Hens – 5
  10. Swans a Swimming – 3

Congratulations to Dallas from Utica who guessed Maids a milking and Geese a Laying and those answers won him that $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!

Thanks for checking out our blog!

– Hannah and Joe

Who Knew Wednesday

This week is time for you to get packing, packing shoeboxes to be more specific! Operation Christmas Child has opened up its many drop-off locations to make it easy for you to drop off your shoeboxes! Collection started on the 12th and will wrap up on Monday, November 19. The clock is ticking, its time to get your box ready!

Here are some of the drop off locations in and around Mount Vernon:

  • Brandon Baptist Church, 13513 Sycamore Road in Mount Vernon
  • Faith Baptist Church, 8764 Martinsburg Road in Mount Vernon

  • Grace Pointe Community Church, 892 E Columbus Road in Utica

  • Johnstown Independent Baptist Church, 7397 Johnstown Alexandria Road in Johnstown

Here are the times these churches are accepting boxes!

What is Operation Christmas Child?

  • This operation is run by an organization called Samaritan’s Purse, a charity inspired by the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke. Here is the Samaritan’s Purse Mission Statement:  Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is some more information on this great organization!
  • Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with local churches around the world to deliver 157 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to children in need in 160 countries. Each one—packed full of fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items by a family or individual—is sent with prayer that the child who receives it will experience God’s love through their simple gifts.
  • This year, Operation Christmas Child is celebrating 25 years!

How do I participate?

  • Easy! You can pack a shoebox! Here are the steps:
    • 1. Find a Shoebox – Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately.
    • 2. Girl or Boy? Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14.
    • 3. Fill with Gifts – Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with a pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.
    • 4. Pray- Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo.
    • 5. Follow Your Box Labels – Donate $9i online and receive a tracking label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift.
    • 6. Drop-Off – Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, November 12–19, 2018.

Don’t have time to pack your box at home? Good news! You can now build your box online, for just $25! Want more information? Click HERE!

This day in history:

  • Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon. It was launched on November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center,
  • This Doesn’t get near as much attention as Apollo 11, the first manned flight to the moon
  • Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit.

Our Trivia Question for today:

What percent of the universe is dark matter? 

Answer: 27%

The rest of the universe is around 68% dark energy, and less than 5% of the universe is made up of what we would consider “normal” matter. This means that roughly 80% of the mass of the universe is made up of material we cannot see.

Congratulation to Megan from Gambier who won a $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apples Valley for correctly guessing today’s trivia question!

Thanks for checking out our blog! Have a blessed day and thank you for support of the Afternoon Drive!

Hannah Radke

 

Mystery Monday!

Today Malisa and I had a ton of fun giving YOU chances to win!

Our mystery question today was “Name a reason you might get of bed at 2am”

The top two answers are:

1. To go to the bathroom

2. To get/feed a baby or crying child!

Congratulations to Kristi from Mount Vernon who guessed our top two answers correctly and won a $5 gift card to Troyers of Apple Valley!

We also gave away Annie tickets! Congratulation to Shari from Mount Vernon who was out caller number 3! Want to know more, click HERE! 

We also gave away two pairs of Sonfest tickets!

Our Sonfest 2018 Artist Trivia questions for today were:

Question 1: What year did Lecrae release his first album?

Answer 1: 2004

Question 2: Family force 5 originated from what city?

answer 2: Atlanta, Georgia

Congraluation to Shari from Mount Vernon and Mark from Mount Vernon who guessed our Sonfest 2018 Artist Trivia questions right! Do you want to more about sonfest? Click HERE.

Thank you so much for tuning into to the Afternoon Drive!

-Hannah

Peanuts & Positive Thinking!

Today was an absolutely jam packed show on the Afternoon Drive!
We celebrated peanut day, and positive thinking day!

It’s always great to share some fun facts with you, so here are some fun facts about peanuts and peanut butter!

– The average peanut farm is 100 acres.
– Peanuts are sometimes called “ground nuts” or “ground peas” because peanuts grow underground.
– There are six cities in the U.S. named Peanut: Peanut, California; Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania; Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Pennsylvania, Peanut, Tennessee; and Peanut West Virginia.
-Peanuts are a great source of protein. They also contain other healthy nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. The amino acids in the protein are needed for growth and development.
– It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
– The speed record for eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is six in one minute, and that record was set by Patrick Bertoletti in Illinois in 2012.
-Women and children like creamy peanut butter and men like chunky peanut butter.
– There’s a jar of peanut butter in 75 percent of the homes in America.
– About 1.3 percent of the American population is allergic to peanuts.

We always love to share recipes with you as well, and boy oh boy do we have some good ones for you. Here’s some delicious peanut recipes.
Charcuterie Made Simple
Peanut Apple Crisp
A recipe that Elvis would be proud of
Pumpkin Peanut Soup
One from my man, Alton Brown

BUT WHAT IF I’M ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS?
-Fear not, my friend.
– Peanuts are a good source of protein, right? So other good sources of protein are: yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, eggs, cheese, most meats, most fish, and beef jerky.
-BUT WHAT IF I’M VEGAN ALLERGIC AND VEGAN AND/OR LACTOSE INTOLERANT?!
-First, I’m so sorry.
-Second: Beans, peas, quinoa, brown rice, avocado, broccoli, tofu and edamame are also really good vegan and nut free protein alternatives.

PEANUT TRIVIA
For Who Knew Wednesday today we asked a peanut related trivia question…
For culinary, research, and nutritional purposes the peanut is classified as a nut. But botanically, they are not nuts. What are they?
They are legumes.

Why? Well…
Peanuts, along with beans and peas, belong to the single plant family. Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods. As a group, they provide the best source of concentrated protein in the plant kingdom. While their physical structure and nutritional benefits more closely resemble that of other legumes, their use in diets and cuisines more closely resembles that of nuts.
So technically, they’re both, but man they’re confusing.

Congratulations to our trivia winner Greg from Bellville!

Here are some ways to stay positive, and some bible verses to back them up…
Direct your thoughts –
This technique, used by psychotherapists, can help you to control your thoughts when you start to feel down or anxious. Create a happy thought, a positive image, or give yourself positive feedback to keep bad feelings in check.
Philippians 4:8 –
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Believe you will succeed.There is nothing like believing in yourself to create a successful reality. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and believe that you will succeed at fulfilling your goals.
Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Come up with positive things about those you love. Making someone else feel good about themselves can strengthen relationships and give you a positive thought to concentrate on, instead of the negative.
Mark 12:31
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Here are some benefits of being positive…

1. Negativity doesn’t work – Literally – Our subconscious brain can’t handle it
Our brains can’t process negative words according to the latest studies. So when we hear a phrase like “don’t touch that,” our subconscious skips over these negative words and simply hears “touch that.” Our conscious mind can obviously process these words, but it’s the subconscious that makes a lot of our decisions without us realizing.
What this means for us is that we struggle to change our habits or thought patterns when we tell ourselves negative phrases, since only our conscious minds can take those in. We can make this much easier and let the subconscious do its job by using positively-framed phrases like “walk away from that” instead of ‘don’t touch’.

2. You’ll improve your outlook of the future
Positive thinking can actually improve our overall happiness.
A study at the University of North Carolina also showed that positive emotions are more likely to encourage people to plan ahead and think of actions they would like to take or activities they’d like to participate in the future. Negative emotions, on the other hand, led to participants being less inclined to think positively about their future.

Our word of the day today was…
Arachibutyrophobia
The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one’s mouth

Congratulations to our ‘How I Became a Pirate’ ticket winner:
Also, to our Sonfest ticket winner Jennifer from Fredericktown!

Thanks for listening!
-Lilly

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