Tag: 122017

A Message of Peace and Hope: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Pastor Nathan Richardson, Heartland Community Church
As the song says, Christmas is stated to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” I have to admit, I agree whole heartedly. With the parties, the presents and the time spent with the ones we love it really is the most wonderful time.
A few weeks ago I learned what wonderful really means. We may use it to describe something awesome or marvelous. But if you really look at the word it means full of wonder or astonishment. In other words it is something we cannot necessarily grasp, understand. It is incomprehensible.
Isaiah 9:6 says “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Jesus is referred to as a Wonderful Counselor. This is not just a title but who he is. Jesus did things that were incomprehensible, like coming to earth through a virgin birth, healing the sick and raising the dead.
Even his words at times are incomprehensible. Just look at the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” Later on Jesus says “if someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also.” He also adds to “love your enemies.”
These words seem quite incomprehensible. Are they just words or are they possible to live out. I do not think Jesus would tell us to live in a way that is impossible. Yet these words if lived out would bring peace to earth. Jesus is also called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. Jesus also blesses the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
More so than any other time in my life I long for peace. In a world which is bent to everything but peace it seems that people almost look for something to disagree about. But we are called to bring a reconciliation and peace to the world. Christ more than anyone embodied this idea of peace. So this Christmas season let us embody the same peace. And as the angels declared to the shepherd in Luke 2, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on who his favor rests.” If we could do this it really would be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

2018 Senior Spotlight – Meghan Klein

Parents’ Name: Travis and Nicole Klein
Hometown: Dysart
Birthday: Apr. 8, 2000
Favorite Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Favorite restaurant: Pancheros
Favorite class: Anthropology
Hobbies/Activities: Tennis
What was your favorite year of high school and why? Senior year because I am involved in a lot of things and it’s my last year of high school.
What will you miss most about high school? My friends.
What are your post-high school plans? Going to college at UNI.
Your best advice to underclassmen? Be involved because high school goes by fast.

A Message of Peace and Hope: A Christmas Message

By Reverend Michael Hutchison,  Sacred Heart Church
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone” (Isaiah 9:1). With these prophetic words, Isaiah captures the meaning of Christmas.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the Light of the world (Cf. John 8:12), and He comes to illumine the darkness. Darkness, here, represents despair, evil, hopelessness, sin, and all the vices. In the Gospel of John, the author rightly identifies Jesus as the Light of humanity; the Light that shines in the darkness; the Light that the darkness has not overcome. He is the true light that enlightens everyone (John 1:5).
Christ has come to remove all darkness in our hearts and in our world. This calls us to celebrate with joy, for it is good news for humanity. The season of Christmas is a season of light. We, as disciples of Christ, are called to illuminate our families, cities, nations, and all the Earth. We are light when we stand for truth, and when we illumine the way for others. We are light when we deliver hope and dispense reasons to smile.
Christmas is a season of unity and peace. Growing up my father used to tell me stories about how his family celebrated Christmas. His grandfather, would gather all members of the extended family to share a meal from a single plate. This act symbolized unity because no one dines with their enemy. Christmas is a time to put a stop to all the infighting and tension. A “lasting truce” between parents and children, between siblings, between man and wife, between neighbors. It is a time to unite and let go of bitterness and pain. Remember that in the midst of World War I, Christmas 1914 brought German and British soldiers together. They met in no man’s land along the Western Front during unofficial, soldier-declared ceasefires, many of which ended in carol singing.
Christmas is a season of sharing. As I walked down the aisles shopping recently I noticed how shoppers were busily pursuing gifts for friends and loved ones. In particular, I witnessed smiles on their faces upon discovering the perfect gift. What a beautiful sight it was. But should this joy be reserved only for those we know or those close to us? Christ came to all. It is amazing that even animals had their share of His blessing. We are encouraged to share with all. Share material gifts, but also share words of hope, comfort, joy, peace, and share your time and talents with others, and with your church.
Christmas is a season of joy. “Joy to the world the Lord is come!” Isaac Watts instructs in his popular Christmas carol. How do we share in this joy? We must cast off deeds of darkness; cast off anger, pain, disappointment, sorrow, for there is a reason to be joyful and the reason is the birth of the Christ-child. See how parents, family, caregivers, and friends receive the news of a new born baby with joy. Why should we not be happy if no other person but God Himself has decided to visit us in the form of a child. Be happy and joyful. In fact, the Psalmist will say “shout with joy to the Lord…” (Ps 98).
Above all let us remember that the Christ-child was not always a child or a baby. He grew in wisdom and stature and the favor of God was upon him (Cf. Luke 2:52). So, also, the joy, peace, love, and unity must grow in us. The sharing must, also, continue and not be just at Christmas. What we begin this season should grow into fruition.
As some people in Ghana jokingly say, “I wish you a Mary Christmas and a Joseph new Year”! Merry Christmas to you all, and may the New Year find you in good health, and in the fear of the Lord.
Jesus meek and humble of heart, touch our hearts and make them like your own. Amen.

2018 Senior Spotlight – Lauren Harrigan

Parents’ Name: Lesley and William Harrigan
Hometown: Dysart
Birthday: Aug. 29, 2000
Favorite TV show: Victorious
Favorite Movie: Monster’s Inc/Monster’s University
Favorite restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Favorite class: Psychology
Hobbies/Activities: Musical, Show Choir, All State auditions, Carolers
What is your most embarrassing moment at Union High School? I don’t have one: I’m perfect.
What is your favorite memory from high school? Final weeks of the musicals.
My biggest pet peeve is: Bad grammar.
What will you miss most about high school? Fine Arts and extracurriculars.
What is the best thing about being a senior? Being better than everyone, but I already was.
What are your post-high school plans? Make money.
Your best advice to underclassmen? Do choir stuff even if you think it’ll be dumb, it’s not.

Yoga Classes Begin January 2

Another six week session of yoga classes will begin soon! Classes will be held twice a week at the La Porte City Community Center on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning January 2, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, and Wednesday and Friday mornings beginning January 3, 2018 from 6:15 AM to 7:15 AM. The cost for each session is $60. A minimum enrollment of five participants is required for the classes to be confirmed. Interested participants should contact Jane Whittlesey at City Hall (319) 342-3396 or email lpcclerk@lpctel.net to register.
 

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