Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

It is kind of hard to believe that 2008 is just around the corner. What are your desires for the new year?
I get quite reflective during this time on the calendar. I really try to consider all that has happened during the last year and how God used it to speak into my life. It is fun, but challenging to say the least...
This past year has seen a lot happen in our lives... Over the next post or two I will share some of what God has allowed me to experience in the past twelve months...

What is the most exciting moment of 2007 for you?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Forgotten Ways of Christmast No.2

It has been a while since I have written about The Forgotten Ways of Christmas, so here we go again lest you think that I was just going to pick it back up next year.
As I have thought about the Scriptures dealing with the birth of Jesus, I have been struck by the humility of it all. God's way is humble. I have much to learn about this... Jesus comes as Paul says in Philippians 2 "not counting equality with God something to be grasped".
How awesome is this. God is the most humble. Jesus is living out the character of the Father in the Incarnation.
I believe that we all have much to learn about the ways of God. But if I were God, I would have gone to the top of Everest to announce the birth of the Messiah. If I were Jesus I would have wanted to make a GRANDE entrance into this life. But this is not the way of God... No God works in the humility of a vulnerable child.
Lord help us all who are prideful and self-absorbed.
"A man wrapped up in himself makes a small bundle." Ben Franklin

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Great Magnolia State

Julie and I have arrived in Mississippi. We spent the night last night in Oxford, Alabama and then got off early this morning. The trip was good and we ran into something that we have not seen much up in Peach state... RAIN. Bad weather in Meridian derailed us for a while, but we were able to get going again without much delay. It is good to be here in Jackson. We will be Julie's parents for a few days and then up to Louisville to spend a few days with my family.
I am about try out a new French Press coffee maker. I am sure that the home brew will be delightful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Off to Mississippi

Julie and I and of course our little Yorkshire Terrier will be traveling out to the great land of Magnolias. We will have an opportunity to spend some time with our families for Christmas. Julie's family lives in Jackson and mine lives in Louisville. We only live an hour and half a part so that is nice. We love travel days it is fun especially in these cool days of winter.
Until we arrive, have a great day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Forgotten Ways of Christmas No.1

As I have been reading the Scripture passages that surround the birth of Christ, several different ideas have just jumped off the text to me. Over my next few post I will share these insights with you and maybe you will find them helpful.

God works in obscurity:
God revealed His plan to the simple no-name shepherds that were tending the flock. These unassuming workers were the ones to observe the angels as they appeared singing of this great Divine act. How stunning it is to know that God did not go to the religious elite in order to reveal the birth of His Son.
Now God could have gone to the Temple with the news, but would they really have believed? I feel quite certain that the texture their heart was such that these "religiousites" would have disregarded the announcement and gone on with business as usual.
This challenges me to be open when God decides to show up in my life. There is no rhyme or reason to the way God works. God can and does show up where He pleases. As I consider different episodes in Scripture, it seems to me that He likes to appear in the obscure places of life. An experience may seem to just be routine or mundane, but quickly it can become the stage for the Divine. I do not want to miss out on these times of grace in my life, therefore I pray that I will be filled with eager anticipation for the presence of the Lord.

How has God revealed Himself or His plans in the Scriptures?
How has God revealed Himself or His plans to you in the past?
Pray that you would have a spirit of openness and expectation as you go through your day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Unexpected

What are you giving others this Christmas? What do you want to get this Christmas?

Do you have expectations?

I wonder what the shepherds thought when the angels appeared in the field?
I wonder what Mary felt when the angel came to her?
What did Joseph feel as he awoke from his day dreaming?

The unexpected comes to us and we do not know what to think or feel. We assume that we know what we need from God, but He knows best. We think that we have our needs fairly ironed out... but truthfully we lack the insight needed.

How would I respond if I were in the Joseph's shoes? or Mary's? or the Shepherd's? or even the Wisemen? I hope that I would be willing and ready to be obedient. It is hard to be ready for the unexpected.
Lord keep us open to the unexpected. Lord make us aware of your presence? Give us a willing heart to do as you prompt us.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Hope of Jesus

Jesus came into this world to bring Hope. He came that we might envision what might be... what could be... what should be!
Jesus came that we might have life. Isaiah says, "to those living in darkness, a light as dawned."
I can remember going out in the woods with my dad to hunt. He would leave me at a place and go on further to another spot. We would hunt for a few hours and then he would come get me. I always loved seeing his flashlight as he would make his way to me. The light was a sense of comfort and security. When I saw the light - hope welled up in me as a child. The light was a sign that all was well.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. He is a sign to to us that hope has come and that in Jesus... all is well.
This Christmas, may we seek the Lord and know the hope that is in Christ. I pray that each of us will live out the Christ life and be hope in a world that needs to know and experience the hope that Christ offers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Simply Christmas

I was reading a Christmas sermon last night about how Christmas is for the simple. The shepherds were religious rejects who smelled like sheep dung. They slept in a field most every night and almost never made it to the Temple. While they were not welcome company with "cultured" people, they were the ones chosen to be visited by the angels. These smelly simple shepherds were the ones told of the birth of Jesus and they had the simple faith to believe... and they did! God gave the shepherds a firsthand account of the Messiah's birth. The elite, wealthy, and religious people were left off the announcement list. Maybe they were too busy or maybe they were just too "religious" for their own good. Or maybe just maybe, they did not have the faith to believe.
I believe that God knew what he was doing as he told those simple shepherds that night. The Gospel is for all people. The Good News is available to all... Praise be to God!

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

Christmas movies are the best. I am just enthralled with them. It is one of the ways to just truly enjoy the season.
It's A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It must be on TV a zillion times during the holiday's, but I still love it any way. I really do not get tired of it.
It reminds me that I do take much for granted and the life that I long to live, is often right under my nose.
The movie inspires me to make the most of each day and to live each day with a deep sense of wonder and expectation.