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May 11, 2017, 7:30 PM

MPS Awareness Day


 

Dear Church Family,

May 15th is International MPS awareness day.  Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) is a genetic lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) caused by a missing or insufficient enzyme that prevents cells from recycling waste, causing materials to be stored in the cells. This leads to widespread damage throughout the body, affecting joints and organ systems. Of the 9 syndrome types, only four have treatments and none has a cure.

Jamie, age 6, was diagnosed with MPS II or Hunter Syndrome in October, 2014. The average life expectancy for boys with Hunter Syndrome is between 10-15 years. There is currently no cure for Hunter Syndrome, however he does receive a weekly IV infusion of an enzyme replacement medication to help flush some of the toxins out of his system.  Jamie currently suffers from hydrocephalus (fluid and pressure on the brain), a mild heart condition, respiratory issues including frequent bronchitis and sleep apnea, and bone and joint pain.  As Jamie gets older, the disease will progress until he no longer eats by mouth, walks, or talks.  Eventually, Hunter Syndrome will take his life.

One of the most promising potential treatments for Hunter Syndrome is gene therapy.  It involves a one-time delivery of a normal copy of the defective gene to allow the body to naturally produce the missing enzyme. Gene therapy has been developed and performed in similar diseases with positive results by doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.  These same doctors have developed a similar gene therapy treatment for patients with Hunter Syndrome.  To date, the Hunter Syndrome Foundation and other similar organizations have funded over $500,000 of the research.  An additional $2.5 million dollars is needed to finalize drug production and execute a clinical trial.  

I’m asking our church family to please show support of Jamie and his fight with Hunter Syndrome by wearing Purple on May 15th and by praying for our family and all those affected by MPS. For more information on Hunter Syndrome please visit www.mpssociety.org or Jamie’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/boodersjourney If you wish to make a donation for Gene Therapy either see me or visit https://huntersyndromefoundation.org/donate/what-is-gene-therapy/




March 29, 2017, 1:19 PM

Marriage Conference


 

Southern Baptist of Central Texas Association
Marriage Matters Now Conference

 

May 19-20, 2017

Friday, 6-9 pm

Saturday, 9 am – noon


Hosted by First Baptist Church of Academy
(304 N HWY 95 Academy, Texas 76654)

Speakers:

Steve & Debbie Wilson
They are founders of Marriage Matters Now, a marriage ministry devoted toward impacting marriages across the World


Cost:

$60 per couple

$70 for couples needing childcare at the church.

 

*Supper will be served on Friday from 6-6:45 pm. A light breakfast will be served on Saturday from 8:15-8:45am.

 

*Register for the conference by April 30

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November 9, 2016, 1:11 PM

Christmas @ First


 

Celebrate Christmas At First
 
12/4    -        Annual Tree Lighting 6pm

12/5   -        Ladies of the Lord Soup Dinner 6 pm

12/11 -        Community Christmas Celebration at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church 6 pm

12/18 -        Christmas Caroling 4 pm

12/24 -        Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 11:30 pm

12/25 -        Christmas Morning Worship 11 am

12/31 -        New Year’s Eve Celebration 7 pm - Midnight

1/1     -        New Year’s Day Worship 11 am
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August 6, 2016, 3:57 PM

Holy Hologram


 

Our God is a holy God. In Isaiah 6, the angels cried out saying, “Holy, holy, holy.” One of the very important aspects of our God is that He is holy.

When God made man in His image, I believe part of the process was to create Adam and Eve with innate holiness. In their state of sinlessness, they were holy like any of God’s creations up until the fall. I believe, however, our bodies are still innately holy.

We were created by a holy God. We are also created in His image according to Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image.” This image is innately holy. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:19, refers to our bodies as a temple: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” The temple is a holy place. In John 2:19-20, Jesus refers to His own body as a temple: “Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ ”  

Exposure to Holiness

So, here is a thought I want you to consider: If our bodies, male and female, are holy (fallen though they are), then the more body, the more we are exposed to holiness.

A woman’s body is made only for her husband (who is to protect her), yet women’s bodies are fully exposed in pornography. It is this holiness and the perversion of this holiness that is so attractive to men.

Women are beautiful, but they are also holy! This may be why Isaiah 58:7 commands us to cover a naked person: “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” As Christians, we are to cover the naked, not behold them.

Let’s take this idea a little further about intentionally looking at the nakedness of a woman, like so many Christian men do in the privacy of their home, office, or on their cell phones. They intentionally commit time and effort to lust after women. This is a problem because we are told in the tenth commandment not to lust after our neighbor’s wife. (Yes, all women are our neighbor’s wife.)

So far, we can see that the body is innately holy. We also can see our responsibility to cover nakedness. When our hearts have drunk in the devil’s perversion, we can have one of two responses. We can protect nudity by covering nakedness, or we can consume this holy nakedness in a sexual manner.

Two Responses to Holiness

Let’s go to a story that illustrates the two responses to holiness. Genesis 18 contains the story of three “men” (actually angels) visiting Abraham. When Abraham saw these three men he hurried to meet them and bowed down. He fed the men, heard that Sarah was going to have a child, and then the Lord told Abraham of His plans to destroy Sodom because of its wickedness. Abraham’s response to this, I think, is one of the greatest scenes of intercession ever recorded. In verses 20-33, Abraham asks God to spare Sodom.  

Two of the three angels went down to Sodom. Starting in Genesis 19, the Bible says the two angels arrived in Sodom that evening. Now, take a moment and think about people in Scripture who have seen angels: Joshua, Isaiah, Abraham, and others. Almost always, they are awestruck by them and their apparent holiness, and bow down on their faces. Lot was no different. He responded to these holy angels exactly like Abraham had, and he bowed down.

These men somehow radiated something different about themselves than the ordinary person. These angels were holy, so Lot and Abraham’s responses were very appropriate. You know the story: Lot insisted they come to his house and not go to the square because he knew what happened in Sodom when darkness came.

Lot’s reaction to holiness was to protect. However, the men in the town were defiled by ongoing sexual perversion. These men of the town came to Lot’s house and demanded that he let them have sex with the men.

The townsmen had a different response to these holy angels. They saw them as something sexual to be consumed. These angels, being holy, brought out what was inside the hearts of these men. In their hearts, Abraham and Lot bowed down to, fed, and protected these holy angels. A respect for holiness and the desire to protect what is holy resided in Abraham and Lot. In contrast, sexual sickness and perversion resided in the hearts of the men of Sodom, and the holy angels exposed this.

Holiness brings out who we are. When we see the holiness of a naked woman, what’s our reaction? Is it to protect and cover up this nakedness, as our God would want us to do (and as we would feel better doing, since part of our calling is to protect)? Or do we lust and want to sexually consume the holiness of a naked woman? The latter choice is guaranteed to cause us shame and lead to dread being exposed someday.

You are the protector of the holiness and nakedness of women because you are not just a man, you are a man of God. You can have spiritual eyes to see holiness when you see a woman. As you walk in this clean life, God will bless you. God loves to bless men who protect His holy daughters at any cost.

Article written by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. Dr. Weiss travels the country training professionals in the treatment of marriage, sexual addiction, and sexual abuse. He is currently the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center. 

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May 6, 2016, 4:17 PM

Why Mothers Are So Important


 

By Dr. Dorothy Kelley Patterson

 

Being a mother is both demanding and rewarding—it is equivalent to a professional pursuit Molding minds, healing spirits, nurturing bodies, and developing potential—this job can be amazingly productive and overwhelmingly rewarding. The results of competent mothering will be passed from generation to generation! For a mother, rearing her children is her mission, life’s work, the opportunity for her greatest legacy.

Yet why do fewer and fewer women willingly and joyfully commit themselves to this task? Children may bring disappointments and sorrows. A mother loses much of her privacy and sometimes experiences radical changes to her entire lifestyle. You cannot pay a woman to do what mothers do for free. Her rewards are not materialistic benefits that fade but intangible rewards of blessings and honor that will last through eternity.

Susanna Wesley homeschooled her children—six hours of daily instruction interrupted only by the most urgent need. Her husband, curious about her methods, decided to observe her home classroom. “I wonder at your patience,” he said. “You have told that child twenty times the same thing!” Susanna responded, “If I had satisfied myself by mentioning it only nineteen times, I should have lost all my labour. It was the twentieth time that crowned it.”

A mother has the potential of her own “greenhouse.” More than automatic sprinkling and robotic feeding of plants is necessary—not simply survival but the delight of fellowship and personal interaction as Mama Gardener “grows” the next generation! The home is essential for the production of moral, social, and human capital—the work forces and visionary leaders needed for the future. This process, when done with excellence, cannot be short-circuited, mechanized, or standardized to one-size-fits-all.

Remembering the screen classic Magnificent Obsession, I want to challenge this generation of mothers to embrace their own magnificent obsession, i.e., complete dedication to the task of nurturing their children—becoming family-obsessed in the sense of being passionately devoted to the high and holy task of preparing the next generation. Such indeed is considered abnormal by many who look at the task of maternity as perfunctory, without need for preparation or training, and certainly not the most important task a woman should pursue. Yet, what a difference could be made if suddenly the home and family, and especially the children, could be treated with the same importance as other professional pursuits.

  • You are equipped to be a “life bearer”—to conceive, carry, and nurture the beginning of life. A mother’s exclusive role in procreation and her unique human tie with her offspring position her to extend her influence far beyond the family circle. She plays a major role in establishing the values and character not only of her children but also of a nation.
     
  • You are appointed to be the rock of strength and haven of protection for your vulnerable children. A mother who is anchored in her own faith and whose character is settled in her own life is going to be a formidable influence on her offspring. Knowing that someone cares for him and is committed to him above every earthly endeavor gives a child confidence for whatever obstacles he may face and serves as a mooring for him in the storms of life.
     
  • You have the opportunity to lay the foundation for all learning. Hands-on, custom training is the order of the day for serious developmental training of the child. The teaching of physical coordination and informal social interaction includes learning first by practicing communication in simple practical ways through ordinary conversation between mother and child. One thread running through the entire process is time and dedication to the task!
     
  • You have the opportunity to make your children feel that home is the happiest and best place in all the world. Mother becomes the Alpha and the Omega of her abode and by her own attitude and efforts regulates the internal policies by which her home is governed. Her daughters have the opportunity to model themselves after her example, and her sons can be inspired by her quiet but consistent encouragement; both daughters and sons are directed by her counsel and overshadowed by her virtues.

The family mealtime is an important key to making home special. All family members must eat. Most like to eat, so there is a natural eagerness and anticipation as well as relaxation to this scene if Mother gives attention to making it special and uniquely a family time. Over the years, my mother, as did my husband’s mother, set a precedent of making family meals memorable. I had a double legacy to drive me to do the same and to give me a unique blend of my childhood family’s very simple but hearty fare with my husband’s childhood meals of ethnic cuisines. I have added seasonal touches and tablescapes and often place favors. My husband has included lively conversation and the discussion of timely topics (never reprimands or chastisement in this setting). I have introduced tips on basic etiquette (his curriculum seemed more successful than mine, I might add).

Conclusion

Perhaps the home is the toughest workplace of all with unrelenting and even unreasonable demands. A mother seems to be on call 24 hours a day without a basic wage, much less any overtime. But we are “working mothers”! The work may be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining—and even boring. A mother may not be recognized or thanked for her selfless labor. Mothers who devote their primary energies and creativities and the bulk of their time to rearing their children do indeed WORK, but they are not paid in dollars and cents. Their rewards rest in the seedbed of their own hearts with lasting memories of their investment in the lives of those whom they love most in the world. The best present I have given my children has been my presence in their lives from conception until now. The best present they have given me is wrapped up in who they have become, the roles they have taken in their own respective homes and the contributions they are making in the lives of their own families, friends, and even with the strangers who cross their paths. They continue to be a joy to my life; and because of their commitment to Christ, they will be my brightest crowns to place at the feet of the blessed Jesus.

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