Church Newsletter For November, 1999
Well folks, we still have plenty to celebrate even during these times of strife and trouble. Here in the States, we're preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving day, a holiday we celebrate on the final Thursday of November during which we give thanks for God's blessings. It's a time for family gatherings, for feasting, and for football (yeah!), but for us Christians, it should be first and foremost a time for giving thanks. It should also be a time when we remember those who are less fortunate, who may not have families to be with, or a home to sleep in, or food for the day. I urge each of you to try and make some time this year to be in God's service this Thanksgiving. Whereever you are, there are charities that can use your help this holiday. Maybe you can serve a Thanksgiving dinner in a homeless shelter, or deliver some to the shut-in or elderly. Maybe you can't do anything on Thanksgiving, but you'll have lots of leftover food afterwards. Hey, don't make your family eat turkey sandwiches for the next month! Why not donate that food to a soup kitchen or church food program? I promise you, it will be a welcome and much needed contribution. Remember Proverbs 22:9, "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." and Proberbs 19:17 "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done." So, do be sure and give thanks and enjoy the holiday, but also remember those less fortunate.
Okay, church news! We continue to grow in membership. I'm very pleased that more and more of our members are joining from outside of the United States because, after all, International is part of our name! I'm always excited when they post on the church bulletin board. If you've visited the bulletin board lately, you experienced fellowship with members from the States, from Canada, from Mexico, from Australia, from England, the list goes on! And the nice thing is, the bulletin board doesn't care what time zone you're in, just drop in anytime! I'm also excited to announce a few additions to the church web site. Many of our ordained clergy have asked "Why can't I order from the Clergy Credentials Catalog using my credit card?" Well, until now I simply haven't been able to establish a system for this. Now, though, thanks to a program from BeSeen, this feature has been added, and all the materials available from the catalog can be ordered securely online with your credit card. Hey, you asked for it folks, so there it is.
Also, the wonderful holiday of Christmas is just around the corner! A very spiritual holiday for all of us, but also a time when we all have to do a bit of shopping and gift buying. With this in mind, I've also set up the First International Church of the Web Christian Book Store in association with A Family Moment book stores. If you're planning on giving Bibles or Christian books as gifts this Christmas, why not order from our own book store and help our church as well? Rev. Fred from Australia already did his Christmas shopping there (thanks, Brother Fred!) The book store will be a permanent feature of our church, and you can always find it through the link on the front page. Just for the holidays, though, I've set up something for all you folks who will be giving computer related gifts, The FICOTW Computer Shop, where you can order computer hardware and software products and help support our church. Again, this is just during the holidays - I don't plan on making this a permanent part of our church. I only do this because I know many of our members will be making these types of purchases over the next few weeks, and many would like to do so knowing that they are also helping me and our church.
Now, Free Stuff! As always in the newsletter, I've found a number of free services on the web I'd like to share with the membership. The first one is from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association - they're giving away Year 2000 Billy Graham Prayer Calendars with a bible verse for every day. I haven't seen it yet, but it's from Billy Graham, so you know it's got to be nice (Billy Graham is a personal hero of mine). I'd also like to share with you a service I have checked out and can vouch for - a free toll-free voicemail number available through ureach.com. They give you a toll free number you can use for voice mail, and what's really cool, they send you an e-mail when you get a message! It works great for folks who are always online like myself (you too, don't deny it!). The free service includes other goodies also, like free e-mail, fax, calendar, address book, and file storage. I'm going to be adding this one to the Isp Services page of our church soon. And finally, I'd like to share a great website with you called FreeWare Home, where they have tons for absolutely free software for download. Everything from office programs to educational programs, webmaster programs (I wrote this page using a free html editor I got there), games, and lots of other stuff. They also have a lot of free religious programs, including Bible memorization programs and more. I really recommend it.
Well, my friends, that's going to do it for this issue of the newsletter. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who signed up with the new mailing list to receive this newsletter. It's good to know that the members really do want to receive the newsletter, and it does my heart good to know that you're reading it. Remember, your participation in our church is what really makes it a fellowship. Thanks again for taking the time to read our newsletter, and thank you for being part of our church. Until next time, I'll see you all online, and please know that you remain in my prayers at all times. Have a wonderful holiday season, and God bless you!
Yours in Christ,
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