The Christmas Season Pt 6: the 2012th Noel

 

Every year we sing “The First Noel”. We are so far beyond that now.  We are tonight celebrating the 2012th Noel (give or take). It amazes me that being so far separated from the event we yet celebrate it. That fact alone speaks to the importance of the act, God coming to dwell among us! How blessed are we that the Creator chose to take on the form of man…to become one of us…to bear our sin and so liberate the entire creation from the bondage to decay!

Merry Christmas friends! Never forget what God did for us!

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 134

amos Who are your enemies? Everyone has at least one. What did you do to earn their animosity? I have to admit I come by some of my enemies honestly. Then there are others…people who have just decided they don’t like me because I’m me. I honestly don’t know what I did or do or am that makes them look on me with “ick”.

David was a man of many enemies. He earned some of his foes and then others like Nabal and the Ziphites  just hated David for being David.

Here’s what I see in today’s chapters:

I Samuel chapter 25 sermon topics/titles:

1. When Greatness Makes You Stupid: I SAm. 25:1-38

2.  Being a Peacemaker In the House Of a Fool: I Sam. 25: 14-38

3. Letting the Lord Plead Your Cause: I Sam. 39-44

I Samuel chapter 26 sermon topics/ titles:

1. When It Seems Like Everyone Hates You: I Sam. 26:1-25

2. Counting Coup: I Sam. 26: 1-13

3. Offering Peace: I Sam. 26:13-25

What do you do when there’s no making peace?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Tada!!!

Tada!!!

 

“Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful bit of an outburst that just comes. It’s unbridled, its unplanned, it’s full of suprises.”
― Erma Bombeck

Help me I'm 21photo be MJ Lillie

Help me I’m 21
photo be MJ Lillie

“Would you like to know your future?

If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.

So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence — a surprise.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Surprise smooch

Surprise smooch

 

“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved.”
― Charles Morgan

 

 

 

 

Pastor Wrinkles: Charts Pt. 133

I know what the Bible says about me….I am more than a conqueror….God will never leave me nor forsake me….Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.  I know these things are true but sometimes when the enemy is hot on my heels forgetting the truth seems a foregone conclusion.

How about you? Do you ever struggle with the truth of who you are and what you are capable of in Christ?

Here is what I see in today’s chapters:

I Samuel chapter 23 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Engage Afraid! I Sam. 23:1-5

2. Betrayed By Those You’ve Tried To Help: I Sam. 23:6-1

3. Look For the Helpers: I Sam. 23: 15-18

I Samuel chapter 24 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Opportunities To Be Passed Up: I Sam 24: 1-5

2. Remembering Your Real Enemy: I Sam. 24:5-12

3. “From Evil People Come Evil Deeds!” : I Sam. 24: 13-22

Now tell me what you see in these chapters! 🙂

The Temple

What follows are the thoughts of my son. When he read these to me last night I thought I just had to share them…So with his permission…

The Temple

Today I ate dinner at the Thai place. I noticed some things  I had never given thought to before. A Vietnamese friend of mine works there, well actually that is where I met her, and I am friends with the owner. I noticed today, however, Lee (my Vietnamese friend) waiing to a small statue I never even saw before. I know the statue has been there for a while. It is not like they put new decorations in every day.

The people who work at this restaurant are people I have come to know and cherish deeply. I know they feel the same about me (teaching me Thai and taking 10% off my bill whenever I come in). My friend’s act, however took me back to the spirit houses (that “house” the displaced spirits) I would walk past in Thailand. It reminded me of  the monks in orange who became my friends. I was  reminded of the temples I went into with my friend Lara. I would see people putting golden leaves on the statues of Buddha for merit in the next life. I can still smell the incense they’d burn, and see the lotuses they held. Countless people walk into these centers of worship every day, these are people whom I love. Right now I am taken back to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma, a hub of Buddhist worship. This is the golden center of a rundown city. I see people kneeling in front of the Buddha. It is one thing to be taken in by such beautiful buildings as a tourist. However, I am no tourist. I see artificial beauty masking a dark truth. There are people who are still out there who have yet to hear the good news.

Salvation does not have to be earned; It can’t be. People without this truth go on with their day-to-day lives thinking “salvation” (I use this term very loosely) must be earned. These are what you would call “good” people.

I don’t just speak this only about Buddhists. You can apply my words to Muslims, Wiccans, and Atheists. I  speak out of my own personal journeys and adventures. How many people do we see a day? How many do we close our eyes to? It is a tragedy that because we lack love our churches are shrinking. Show me a church that loves (God, brothers, and man) I will show you one that grows.

I have often wondered what is more important, loving people, or being a witness to them. We must do both, and not witness because it is our duty, but witness because we love.

We are all TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit. I am not saying you should  imbed your chest with a cross and have people kneel at your feet. What I am saying is that inside of us there ought to be two things: First something in our life that points to the God we serve,  second a heart that is constantly worshiping God in Spirit and in truth. Each man is a temple to that which he worships: god, ideals, entity, morals, etc.  What we serve will show. How much it pains me to see  Christians pointing people away from God because we have constructed a temple to self within us.

My Grace Notes

This post was inspired my good friend Lady Barefoot Baroness at http://barefootbaroness.org/. If you have not read her blog check it out today. She has lots of inspiration for you!

The premise here is to describe your life in 4 or 5 musical choices. Here is my musical description:

My childhood was filled with encouragement to imagine and think. My father often said “I don’t care what you believe but I won’t let you just regurgitate someone else’s beliefs. If your going to believe something,J, know why you believe it!”

While Dad wasn’t completely truthful with his statement about caring (he wasn’t thrilled with my choice to become a practicing Christian) I will forever be thankful that he required me to be able to defend what I believed.

Charlie Brown was my first musical role if you don’t count playing Joseph in school pageants (that was back in the day when the birth of Christ was still allowed in public school).  I was in eighth grade. I didn’t realize how this one song would set my course for the remainder of my school days.

I was the “Wimpy Kid” through most of my high school career. I was labeled “Jesus Boy” and “the Band Fag” (that last one was a name all instrument players got from our good friends on the football team). For the most part I didn’t mind the labels.  I took the comments as persecution for doing and being something that few others had the guts to do or be. I determined to just keep running kite in hand until I graduated. Then I hit my stride.

I learned about “The Piano Guys” just a week ago from Deb, another blogger friend of mine. Check out her work at http://theforkintheroad.wordpress.com/ and http://twominutesofgrace.wordpress.com/. Since I heard them I have been listening incessantly to their beautifully complicated arrangements.

The last twenty-five years have gone by in such a rush. I can’t point to one thing  that I would say is THE BLESSING of those years. So much has happened: marriage, children, four or five different career paths, ministry and miracles galore! God has done so many wonderful things for me and each blessing has played its part in making life a beautiful song for the world to hear Jesus through.

I have learned that the river of life cuts deep wounds into all of our lives. No one is exempt from the cutting. It has happened to you and it has happened to me.  While we have no choice about receiving the wounds, we can choose what fills them.The gorges of our pain can run with the waters of bitterness or blessing. God has helped me to keep my eyes fixed on Him in praise through it all.

I don’t know exactly where my life is going to take me. I don’t know what adventure lies beyond this morning’s sunrise.  But I’m secure in the knowledge that my ultimate end is Heaven. Between here and there and beyond even that this eternal life promises to be a great adventure!

Please! Please! Please! share your Grace notes in a post and link back to this site so I can read them!

Pastor Wrinkles: Hey Jude Pt. 28

To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:25

When it comes to this life God is the only expert. We may not understand why He has dictated certain things. We may not even like some of the dictates, but we have to acknowledge that the biblical laws come from an expert who understands how the cosmos works. We have to acknowledge that no culture that defies his pathway long survives. We have to acknowledge that His way and only His way works!

Because He alone is the expert He is the one who deserves to be revered as the authority. He is the one who will walk in power throughout all time!

Share Your World With Cee Cee Pt. 34

I am loving life this Christmas season. I have tried really hard to simplify and to keep my stress level low by concentrating my focus on the Christ in Christmas. I am picking and choosing my activities and making sure that while I do a smattering of Christmassy things I keep those activities under control so that I can still live normal life… like answering these weekly questions! 🙂

  • Your most favorite fiction book? I love so many books. I’m a big fantasy reader and I think one of my favorite series was the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson. Currently though I am loving John Jakes American Dreams. American Dreams
  • What one thing you miss about being a kid? When I was little my friends and I used to run through the woods behind my house pretending we were superheroes. My life doesn’t  give me much time to pretend these days. I miss that. thCAE2M4N5
  • If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?   I would be a large orange pineapple ice cream cone because right now I am wicked hungry!
  • What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)? My dad owned a restaurant. I learned how to operate the dishwasher by the time I was ten. Aside from my paper route I worked as a dishwasher from the time I was fifteen. I started waiting tables when I was seventeen and by eighteen I was short ordering. I still love to cook.

Where’s the Light?

Isaiah wrote “The people walking in darkness will see a great light.” Isaiah 9:2

There’s been a lot of darkness in the last week. I suppose it’s only natural that there should be a lot of dialogue about the solution to that darkness. In the days ahead I suspect we will hear more debate about what should be done. The thing is debate is not necessary. The church has the answer to the world’s problem with darkness. The answer is light. The light is Jesus.

The light is not gun control.

The light is not mental health reform.

The light is not our government.

The light is Jesus. He alone can be our anchor in the dark and stormy seas.

 

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord Jesus, we are in desperate need of the light of the world! Yet all the world around us is groping for other answers. Lord draw the hearts of men and women to your light. Remove the scales of worldliness from their eyes so that they may see you are the only answer. PLease Lord have mercy and send revival upon the nations one more time! In Jesus name A-men.