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  • Writer's pictureDenise Capra

Joyful Tidings: A Heartfelt Christmas Letter from Our Pastors


Pictured From Left to Right: Emani Cassis, Ivan Mendes, Sandy Hudson, Doug Dimmel, Rob Wells, Denise Capra, Dennis Capra, Greg Hertfelder, Gabriel Tanner, Nate Tanner (missing: Andrea Winnubst & Ted Nelson)


Dennis and I want to share a short update and express our deepest appreciation for your friendship in this reflective season.  I know we share great expectations for the harvest time we find ourselves in while also being grieved by some of the turmoil surrounding us.


This is all the more reason for embracing the meaningful vision and intention in conveying truth to our society so infected with poisoned thinking.  YET, THROUGH THE GOSPEL..


Jesus came to establish peace.  He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). We can choose to allow peace to rule in our hearts.   His peace will allow us freedom from fear and an anxious heart.


We can reflect on what we presently believe. We don’t want a false peace that is not based on reality.  We don’t focus on our own performance and achievements to determine our peace pulse. Look instead at what Jesus did for us. We can stabilize on the foundation He has laid for us.


When Jesus was born, the angels appeared to the shepherds in the countryside around Bethlehem.  Their announcement of the birth of our Savior and Lord was magnificent.  There was joy in heaven that could not be contained as the angels broke forth.  “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:10,11,13,14)

 

CELEBRATION IN THE SKY!

           

This announcement was so glorious it could not be contained in Heaven.  There was good news coming to man from God.  This would be the most valuable announcement God had ever made to fallen man.  For the first time since Adam ran out of God’s presence in the garden, there was going to be peace between God and man. Man had already experienced miracles.  He had seen healings.  Actually, every miracle of the New Testament had been seen in the Old.  It was not the message of miracles, signs or wonders that was too good to be contained, it was the message of peace between God and man.


All of my life I saw the Christmas banners that proclaimed, “Peace on earth and good will toward men.”  Those words were always placed in a setting of men having peace and goodwill for one another.  While that is a noble admonition, it is not the true message that was being sent to earth. For the first time, there would be peace between man and God.  Because of the arrival of the Savior, something was going to happen that would make peace between God and man possible.  There was going to be a reconciliation.  Man was going to be restored to God.  God always wanted peace between Him and man.  He put man here in a garden called Paradise.  There was perfect harmony between God and man.  When man sinned, he did more than disobey God.  He acquired a new capability. He gained the ability to determine good and evil for himself. 


Along with that ability came a self-imposed standard of righteousness and unrighteousness.  Through that self-imposed standard, man became fearful of God.  He stopped trusting in God’s standards of truth and began to develop his own standards.  

There was self-imposed fear when we failed to meet our self-imposed standards. 

We assumed that fear to be from God and related to God accordingly. Thus, there was no peace between God and man.  This terrible syndrome has continued in the hearts of men until this very day.


With the arrival of the Savior, that fear problem was going to be resolved and for the first time since the garden, there would be peace between God and man.  This fear problem was so powerful that man could not be delivered from sin unless he was delivered from fear.

 

Hebrews 2:15  says that Jesus delivered us from the power of evil by delivering us from the fear of death. “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”


After man sinned, God still wanted man to have the very best.  The law was not given to make man righteous.  There has never been a law that could make man righteous.  The law was given by a loving Father so man would have a way to avoid falling under the curse of sin.  Likewise, it was given so a sinful, undeserving man could receive the blessing of God.  Even when we were dead in sin and enemies of God, He loved us so much He wanted us to experience the best. What an incredible accomplishment!? (short excerpt from Gospel of Peace by Dr Jim Richards )


This season- allow this truth to be your constant contemplation. Our lives have continued with this passion to share this news. We have hosted conferences annually and are involved with world missions and discipleship locally.


Our family is growing and changing and is truly thankful for one another. We focus on the steps He shows us each step of the way for church and ministry life, family life, and serving the world through testifying the best news ever to touch this world.   We serve through ARMI, Andrew Wommack's ministers network, and our local Kansas City church family. Neil, Alison, and Nick continue to be BJJ champs (Brazilian Jiujitsu competitors) in mid-life. Our grandkids keep us entertained, and our oldest ones are busy in high school with sports and good grades. We love spending time with each of them. Our son and daughter are both successful business owners.  We can barely keep up with them all.


May You continue to follow His leadership and guidance and walk in His Divine favor and protection in this New Year.


Sincerely,

Dennis and Denise Capra Pastors at Faith Kansas City


2024 is the Year of the Open Door


1 Cor 16: 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

2 Cor 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: 16 to the one an [a]aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

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