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Seek to serve God in the New Year

  • Friday, December 27, 2013

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

St. Luke 2:19

Hopefully you have had a wonderful holiday celebration of the Holy birth of our Lord and Savior, and you're looking forward to the New Year's celebration. I pray that you will be blessed abundantly in all areas of your life. I pray for traveling mercies for those who must travel to your destinations, and also for those with inclement weather conditions.

If your celebration was not of joy and peace, but you were troubled in heart, or you were sick, or lonely for the presence of a departed loved one, then know this: the One who sent His only begotten Son into the world as a new born baby to die for you at the tender age of 33, will not leave you nor forsake you. He knows, and He will take care of you.

Recognizing a stroke

Please take the necessary precautions during this season, and that includes your diet. Try to eat as sensibly as you can. The following information should be helpful for you:

During an outdoor event, a friend stumbled and took a little fall – she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call the paramedics) she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes.

They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, she went about enjoying herself for the rest of the evening.

Ingrid's husband called later that evening telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital – (at 6 p.m. Ingrid had passed away.) She suffered a stroke at the event. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, Ingrid would be with us today.

There are three simple steps to remember in recognizing a stroke, and they are to ask three simple questions of the victim: S: Ask the person to SMILE; T: Ask them to TALK and speak a simple sentence. R: Ask them to RAISE both arms. If she or he has trouble with anyone of these symptoms, you should call emergency and explain the symptoms to the dispatcher.

I've been asked to pass this information on just in case it may help someone.

New year

Well, it's time for 2014 which means that the New Year's Eve celebration will take place on Tuesday. Many churches and various other places of celebration will gather to send out the old year and bring in the new.

The tradition of the New Year's resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked to him for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

The New Year has not always begun on Jan. 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day calendar. Jan. 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. The Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. They began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees as good fortune. Later nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.

In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus, then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the 16th century, Pope Gregory X111 revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year returned to Jan. 1.

The date for New Year's may not be the same in all cultures, but it is always the reason to celebrate good luck or blessings in the new year.

I pray that you will have a most blessed and prosperous New Year, and that your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus will be so intimate that you will seek to serve God through his Son, and that the Holy Spirit may indwell you mightily, that men will see your good works and seek to glorify your Father in heaven.

Mt. Zion AME Gospel Choir

Thanks to the Mt. Zion AME Gospel Choir of Bloomingvale for the fine celebration on Dec. 15, with Minister Michael Ripley presiding along with brothers Archie McCullough and Olin McCray, and, sisters Myra Wiggins, Shirley Graham, the Mt. Zion AME Church family, and the pastor Rev. Herman Ford Jr. Special thanks to soloists, groups and choirs.

Dickerson AME church

Thanks to the Dickerson AME church family as they celebrated their annual Christmas Cantata on Dec. 8 with Licentiate Maria Mickel presiding along with, William Blythe, Angela Ford, Shauna Simmons, Elizabeth Milton, Gardenia Miller, Robert Horry, James Blair Jr., and Billy White Sr. Thanks to all singers and departments that participated. Rev. Patrick Staggers is the pastor.

You are invited to Dickerson AME Church on Dec. 29 for the ushers program. Past ushers will be honored for their service, and Rev. Aundry Evans will be the guest speaker. The program is chaired by Ella Mae Graham. Rev. Patrick Staggers is the pastor. All ushers are asked to wear white and join in with the usher's strut part of the program.

Prayer

Please remember to pray for the sick and shut in, the bereaved, the homeless, the hungry, those in nursing homes and hospitals, the unsaved, the lonely, our men and women on the battlefield and their families back home, our travelers and their protection, and for each other, that the Lord may make us intercessors to pray one for the other. Have a blessed New Year's Eve, and a great celebration and loud noise of thanksgiving on New Year's Day.

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