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All Posts By

Kevin Yoho

2018-12-09 Message For Kids- Elf, Oxen, And Us, Oh My

By | Sermons | No Comments

Sharing the Message and Gift of Christmas. Everyone is invited into the Christmas Story. We don’t just want to hear the story of Jesus birth, we want to become a part of it! The wonderful git of Christmas is that God gave his son Jesus to us to empower our lives, to set us free from all those things that hold us back and help us to live our very best selves. Here’s what the Bible says about God’s gifts to us:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (1 Corinthians  9:15)

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son… by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life (John 3:16-18).

We love because he first loved us (1John 4:19).

That gift is ours to open, but there’s more to it. God want us to be in the Christmas Story and we can do that when we also give gifts. What kid of gifts can you give? Here are some ideas adapted from Elf On the Shelf:

Hold the door for someone

Make a card for someone you love

Compliment a friend

Help a friend at school today

Write a thank you note

Give away some clothes that don’t fit anymore

Give books to the library

Give a kid a toy

Write a thank you note for your teacher

Give 5 people a high five

Bake cookies and deliver them to the firemen

Tell a friend what Jesus means to you

Smile at everyone you see today

Deliver cookies to your neighbors

Call your grandparents and tell them you love them

Make cards for kids at the Children’s Hospital

God wants us to become a part of the Christmas Story by sharing God’ s love this week. Will you do that? Thank you!

Some of our kids enjoy choosing how they will share the Christmas Story this week!

2012-12-02 Message- The Lion and the Lamb in Advent Light

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Stretching for the limits? Is our faith experience a collection or facts, or a collection of connections? Life connections. When Jesus calls you and says, Follow me, are you ready to passionately just get up and follow, or do most of us just hold back a little because thats how we were taught. The Lion of Judah is leading into a future of hope. Let’s invest in that journey! Let’s try an experiment. Stretch your right arm up as far as you can. Now, reach further. Wow. Thanks. Did you notice that almost everyone reached further when asked. Why didn’t you reach at that far at the beginning? You can blame the inventor of the #2 pencil. We are not standardized, interchangeable parts on an assembly line of living. Do you know why the earliest teacher’s colleges were called Normal Schools? Because that’s all they expected!  They wanted everyone to be normal. But look around you this morning. Do you see normal? Of course not! Each one of us has that same inner light of Christ that shines in its own uniquely faceted beauty.

Who are you looking for this morning? A Lion or a Lamb? The Lion of Judah has your back. In fact, he’s leading you forward and you can be confident that Jesus the Lion of Judah will protect you into the future, though the future is uncertain and the sun and moon above may fall from the sky!

Jesus is also the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Maybe you need to meet the Lion. Or, the Lamb. Either way, let’s not hold back with that what we have been taught in school since the early 1900’s. Following Jesus is not done with a standard #2 pencil, as we answer standardized multiple-choice questions, so we can be the next interchangeable part for an assembly line called church. No! Church is not for normal people. You are not “standard!”

The Lion roars its invitation to a future of hope despite the sky falling and the uncertainties that abound! The Lamb has forgiven you of your past and freed you to live your very best self right now, and into the future. So let’s get up and go this Advent season. The light of Hope shines brightly and I can’t wait for what’s next!

2012-12-02 Message for Kids- Your Inner Advent Light

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Why do we light our Advent Wreath Candles? Because it helps us to remember that God’s light is always present in our lives, every day. God offers us a dependable light, the light of Jesus Christ. This light, though, is not just in the five candle here in our worship center, no. The light of Jesus in within you. And you. And you. How do you know? Deep inside, no matter how we feel, no matter our mood. Sad or glad. Fearful or Courageous. The Light of Christ is within to give us hope. Hope that is brighter than any darkness. This week, remember that Jesus is your light.

Christmas- The Gift That Keeps Us Growing

By | Intersections

Once you open Christmas, God’s Gift, nothing remains the same.

 

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son. Generous inside and out, true from start to finish(John 1:14).

 

Hello friends,

Every day of the year is special. To someone. Yourbirthday is special, for example! In fact, every single day of the year has been co-opted to celebrate or commemorate one thing or another. Did you know that January is “National Bath Safety Month” and “Penguin Awareness Day” is January 20? The list is endless! Among thousands of personal, regional, national, and religious special days, Christmas, December 25, is unique. It’s the day we have chosen to especially celebrate God’s Gift when long ago, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood”(John 1:14). What a day!

No doubt your memories of Christmas’ past are expressed through today’s traditions and customs. They help you unpack Christmas’ meaning. Seasonal food favorites. Special ornaments and events. Christmas movies and holiday music. Gatherings and gift-exchanges. Christmas Eve candlelight worship. The traditions go on and on. Sometimes the pastfamiliar traditions can overwhelm us as we miss loved ones, reminisce about by-gone days, or just feel a bit lonely during Christmas. Now is a great time to remember that from that First Noel, Christmas was always about the futureinvading our present.

Those former memories may be little more than nostalgic, but the real gift of Christmas is anything but! All things can become new…again. Once you open Christmas, God’s Gift, nothing remains the same.

We can incorporate and build upon Christmas memories when we invest time to learn and grow. We can create new memories, making this Christmas, and every Christmas to come, vitally different, better.

Can you imagine a thriving Christmas, not merely surviving it?! This year, let’s take all the best of Christmas’ pastand open our arms and spirits to new ways to receive God’s gift of Christmas now? And help others do the same. Our greater Cape May community needs to experience Christmas anew this year, and you can be a part of that experience.

And what is that Gift ready to be opened this year? Jesus. Jesus is the Gift. The Gift that keeps on giving. It’s Jesus moving into our neighborhood, now. Today. Sure, he was born in the pastto Mary and Joseph among the animals in crowded Bethlehem. But it’s (also) todaythat God is with us. Today, God can blossom afresh into our lives.

This week, all month, and as the new year unfolds, make time to talk with God. Pause long enough to listen, too. (Check out our online resources for your very own 30-Day Challenge.) Let God know you are grateful as you recall the best of your Christmas’ past, but that you want the Spirit to energize your life this Christmas!

God wants to inspire your thoughts. (Pick up the Bible and take fifteen minutes to read Nehemiah, chapter 1 and Romans, chapter 12. Consider how Nehemiah responded to the cries of his community and how the Apostle Paul urged the house churches to renew their minds for action.) Once you open Christmas, God’s Gift, nothing remains the same.

This Christmas, God can empower us to live our very best selves. Or, sure, we can remain stuck in Christmas’ past, repeating fine traditions but not learning or growing into God’s preferred future. Overhearing the Greatest Story Ever Told is O.K., but not letting the radical Good News transform our life is just a missed opportunity. God Is With Us, Emmanuel(Isaiah 7:14, 8:8; Matthew 1:23), as God’s emerging future unfolds with our every step. How exciting this Christmas could be!

The first New Testament letter was sent to the house churches in the city of Thessalonica, in modern-day Turkey. Paul begins his letter thanking God for the way their lives were changing. He praised them for how they let the Good News shape their community. Each believer responded to God’s invitation to faithfulness in their own, unique way. It was all good. And different. Their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” empowered them to revolutionize their neighborhoods, improve people’s lives, and it elicited some of Paul’s strongest affirmations and expressions of gratitude.

Be a Part of the Advent Adventure. It All Begins December 2

Cold Spring Presbyterian Church enjoys many wonderful traditions during Advent and Christmas that will provide a foundation for experiencing the presence of God in our lives today. Everyone is welcome to come and worship with us every Sunday in December. Enjoy special music, an interactive and inspiring message from God’s word, and a joyful community of faith! This year’s Advent Message Series is titled The All-Inclusive Storyfeaturing the animals of Christmas. Animals, you ask? Yes!

The pastor, Jerome (347-420 AD), helped early believers learn the four gospels using familiar creatures, each representing Mark (the Lion, 12/2), Luke (the Ox, 12/9), John (the Eagle, 12/16), and Matthew (men and women, 12/23). Let’s open God’s Gift of Christmas together using these traditional illustrations.

Melissa and I wish you a very merry Christmas. Remember: Once you open Christmas, God’s Gift, nothing remains the same.

2018-11-18 Message- Ropes Of Living Hope

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Have you ever felt at the End of your rope?! Sure, we all have. The rope is a familiar metaphor for many of life’s experiences and activities. Sometimes we can feel like we’re getting all Tied Up, or walking a Tightrope just to get through our day, or wistfully longing for the simple joy of Jumping Rope as a child in the neighborhood. Remember playing Tug-of-war on the field? It may have Ben a while since you enjoyed the Rope Swing in your backyard. Ropes can also keep us on the path and guide us in the best direction. 

Our energizing message this week is from Mark 13 and Hebrews 4 and you are invited to consider Jesus’ promise to be with us in our present and our future. While visions of the “end times” may result in some anxieties, the end times is not at the end of our rope. Rather, Jesus promises to be faithful to us… “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). Even when Jesus envisioned the future destruction of Herod’s Great Temple, do not fear. Even the uncertainties ahead can result in normal fears, God promises to stand with us in our fear, to tie us as with a safe and secure rope, not only to himself, but to one another. Sure, we may not immediately correlate encouragement and safety to former church experiences, but at Cold Spring Church, we not only stand on the promises of God, we stand on the promises of God together.

Did you know that the The Latin root of the word “religion” is re-ligare, which means to be tied to a yoke? Many monastic orders still require the monk to tie a rope around his waist. It’s not a rope that keeps the cassock from falling. It was a symbol of God’s promises. The rope symbolized that we are all bound together in ropes of hope and faith and love.

Find Ropes of Living Hope this week at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church.

2018-11-18 Message for Kids- Roped In For Thanksgiving

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What holiday do we celebrate on Thursday? Sure, Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? Lots of things. And lots of people, like our family and friends, too, right? We are thankful because God has given us reasons to give thanks because in Jesus Christ we are tied to God. See this rope? What kinds of knots would hold us tight to God? Here, let me know you as I tie this knot. (Disappearing knot rope demonstration.) Wow. That kind of loose knot is not secure. No! The kind of knot you are tied to God with is like this. (Demonstrate a tight knot.) When Melissa and I were married, the minister used the illustration of a knot to show how we are tied together in marriage. Held by God. Held to each other in love. Let’s celebrate God’s connection as we trust in Jesus. Remember to give thanks. And every time you see a rope, a cord, over the holiday, remember how you are always tied to Jesus! And give thanks!