Hello friends of Fourth. I hope everyone is well and that your Advent season has been one of meaningful preparation as we await the coming of our Messiah, Jesus the Christ. I know for myself that while it has been a strange year for nearly everything, still, Advent has been a very affirming season of preparation. This year has pushed all of us to the limits, for sure, but it is at the edge of my limits that I recognize all over again the sustaining and life-giving power of Jesus in my life.
Let's face it, making videos each week is certainly not like being in worship. Having to be parent AND teacher for teens not in school is stressful. Not being able to engage in our normal practices with friends and family has been sad and disappointing. Losing my mother at a time my family could not visit to be present with her and surround her with our love and support stings quite a lot. There has been a lot of loss, and yet, having been pushed to my limits, I have felt the hand of God supporting me and getting me through it all. I didn't want any of this, yet with each challenge life has thrown at me, the love and support of Emmanuel has gotten me through. I definitely didn't plan to prepare for the coming of the Christ this Advent by dealing with struggles, and yet the coming of the Christ in my life during this year has been unmistakable. When I needed God's help, God was there - my rock and my salvation. Emmanuel.
I know many of you have suffered loss this year beyond what we've all struggled with in 2020. I hope as you reflect back on the year and on Advent in particular, you will see how the Christ has been present in your life working to help you through it all. I hope despite all the obstacles you have faced, you have been able to see that while life may throw many difficulties your way, in Christ Jesus we are given strength, support, love and compassion to help us through it all. We are not abandoned in difficult times, rather, God is with us - Emmanuel! Thanks be to God.
God's peace to you all and may you have a Blessed & Merry Christmas!
Carlos & Amy Cuenca
The Story of the Birth of Jesus
Please remember the good folks of Fourth in your prayers. Here's a list of those we've been remembering:
Dennis and Joan Little - family situations and concerns
Bill & Ruthie Brent ask for prayers for Debbie, Jeff and Loretta
Jan Merrick asks for prayers for friends Karen and Jim. Jim is battling health issues
Michaelle and Larry Steier's son John
Margaret Lewis - Health issues. Prayers, too, for Alex.
Tom & Robin Woodruff - both say "Thank you for the thoughts and prayers!"
Leonard Yates who has been diagnosed with bone cancer and is receiving treatments.
Tara Parker's nephew's wife, Valerie Chew, who will undergo 6 weeks of radiation.
Lisa and Greg Tandy - Lisa and Greg are doing better and in recovery.
Pat Gould - Prayers for family Shaun Higdon (who tested positive for Covid-19) and Lee Higdon (Shaun's father) who was diagnosed with a 7" tumor on his kidney.