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The Gospel Reading. Luke 3

21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,


Jesus as a Child

41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?”he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

John the Baptist.

2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6And all people will see God’s salvation.’ ”
7John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
15The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16John answered them all, “I baptize you withwater. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you withthe Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”18And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

Jesus is Baptized

21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,




[prk_accordion][prk_ac_single title="Guatemala Stove Project"]Everyday Guatemalans who live in extreme poverty spend 6-8 hours daily cooking on open fires which are in there house. These indoor open fires produce toxic gases which can give the women, infants and toddlers all manor of cardiovascular problems, such as pneumonia bronchitis ,impaired vision, eye disease, chronic cough, not to mention the heat from an open fire with a bare metal hot plat which can easily burn a small hand reaching for something in error.As bad as these conditions are for these families, it makes me even sadder that these conditions are normative for the culture of the poor in Guatemala. However there is a breath of clean air coming. A Native Guatemalan Named Almicar saw this problem and has worked hard to overcome it for the poor of his country. He has designed the Champina stove. This Stove is more efficient (it uses 70% less fuel that the previous ways of cooking) This Stove is Safer. Only the cooking surface is dangerous to the touch.)THis Stove is dramatically healther. Chapina stoves vent 90% of toxic smoke. One user, Josefina, says, “I have cooked tortillas for 45 years. For the first time in my life I am cooking tortillas without smoke. My stove has made cooking easier.” Another user states, “I had headaches everyday and my eyes burned a lot. I realize now that it was the smoke in my kitchen that caused these problems. I feel better now. This Stove is not just about cooking but also helps create a culture of Health. And it just not about the families receiving the Stove. It is about creating jobs because the stoves were designed and manufactured in Guatemala. So This sounds amazing right? So how can you support this. One Stove Costs 125 dollars. But that i not what i want you to pay. Becasue we want these families to have pride of ownership of this stove so they have to pay for the cinder block base and 25 dollars of the stove. Now that 25 dollars is about 1 to 2 week of work. How much do you make in 2 weeks. A tax-free donation of just $100.00 will help a family purchase a stove which will have a huge impact on an average family of 6 in many positive ways for many years. Make a donatioin at faithbentonville.com/stove[/prk_ac_single][/prk_accordion]

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Faith Of Theology :

How to Overcome Differences in the Church


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Do we ever really transcend culture, when even the inhabitants of heaven are aware that they represent “every tribe and language and people and nation” ?

Stealing Christmas Part 5: Redemption


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What does this all mean? That we shouldn’t decorate trees, kiss under the mistletoe or exchange gift cards because doing so is somehow a nod to paganism? That by eating Christmas dinner on Dec. 25, we’re affirming Mithraism? That we should feel bad for stealing all the best pagan traditions from the years before Christ?

Grow Your Faith, Read More!


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Updated every day.

Carriers of the Light: Kids Christmas Play 2013


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Videos Shown today.