Thank You, Lord, for _______________, who prayed with me to receive Jesus as my Lord & Savior.
Praise and Thanksgiving
May today’s celebration remind us to live lives filled with thankfulness. May by God’s grace, each one of us be thankful for those we are with, near, and long to be with. [Read more…] about My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness
This time of year in churches all over, little children dress up in white robes, put on wings and halos, and in general, look cute! Children dressed as angels are a staple of Christmas plays everywhere. Congregations voice their â€œAhhhhsâ€ and parents and family members hope that their â€œangelsâ€ behave themselves.
This is as it should be â€“ angels do play a part in the Christmas story. Christmas pageants are stylized portrayals of the story of Jesusâ€™ birth, and children dressed as angels fit right in. But we should, from time to time, stop and consider: what are angels?
Maybe you donâ€™t believe in angels. Some modern scholars claim that the Jews picked up the idea of angels from the Persians. Certainly some modern portraits add to our incredulity. Clarence, the would-be angel in Capraâ€™s Itâ€™s A Wonderful Life, is a very likable character, but not so good for getting at what angels are (and the movie reinforces the notion that angels are just humans who have been promoted, so to speak). We get more of our ideas about angels (and demons) from the not so modern picture in Miltonâ€™s writing than from the Bible.
And we are embarrassed by the kitschy angels sold in gift shops. Nothing this silly could possibly exist. [Read more…] about Supporting Cast to the Christmas Story: Angels
Zechariah has been in the shadow of his famous sonÂ â€“Â John the Baptist. John certainly is an important character. But Zechariah was a man who had waited a long time, and so we can benefit from his story as we wait.
First note that Zechariah was â€œgetting on in years.â€ And he and his wife Elizabeth were childless. In our culture, childlessness has a definite sting. Many modern day parents long for a child to be given to them. But in Zechariahâ€™s day the burden was even greater â€“Â especially for the women. To be childless was a curse, possibly for having committed some grievous sin. The text, however doesnâ€™t leave this as an option, for they both were â€œrighteous before Godâ€ (1:6).
Are you suffering some kind of affliction? Are thing especially hard for you? It is possible that it is because you have done something that causes the heartache, but it is not necessarily the case. It might be just the randomness of life; or it could be that God has something for you in the midst of it. [Read more…] about Supporting Cast to the Christmas Story: Zechariah
In the previous post, I shared some thoughts with you about why we should engage during times of transition. Â Throughout this post, Iâ€™ll share about how we can weather these times of transition well, even coming out smiling and thankful on the other side! Â This post will explore these survival techniques:
2. Consider what the Lord might be teaching you.
3. Join a church as quickly as possible and dive in.
4. Remember, it takes time!
Before getting into that list, let me issue a warning reminder:
There is an enemy who would LOVE to see a transition undo you!
Just as Jesus knows what transition is like and will be our rock as we go through periods of change, the devil knows too and will attempt to deceive and derail us. Â He loves to take advantage of weak moments to try to lure us away from trusting our gracious, heavenly Father. Â The Bible says he prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour, that heâ€™s the father of lies, masquerades as an angel of light, and leads the whole world astray. Â I remind you that there is an enemy not to scare you, but to embolden you in the face of trials that will come in the midst of transition. Â They are not usually signs that youâ€™re in the wrong place; in fact, often itâ€™s quite the opposite. Â The evil one would use trials to derail your faith and lead you astray, but knowing thatâ€™s a real threat Â will help you to endure. Â When I read about Satan, I get all fired up, and want to stick it to him, not letting him have a foothold. Â Will you join me?
Here are some things that will help you to resist the devil and thrive in the midst of transition: