Resolution time again!

It’s time once again to make those annual promises and pledges you never keep – New Year’s resolutions!

I have nothing against anyone that wants to improve themselves. Eating better, exercising, quit smoking, learn Spanish, start painting, or start saving money are all worthy resolutions. Continue reading

A Lesson from the Christmas Story – Not Too Late!

It’s never too late to repent and turn your life over to God! As long as you have breath and there is a today, then there is an opportunity.

And it doesn’t matter how old or young you may be; or how much sinfulness you have committed – you can come to the Lord today.

The only ones to show up around the birth of Jesus were shepherds. Perhaps there may have been a few others – a midwife or a relative of Joseph or Mary that was living in Bethlehem at the time.
But certainly there was no pomp and circumstance at His arrival that drew masses of followers.

In fact, it was eight days after His birth when Joseph and Mary took Jesus for ritual circumcision, according to the Law.
While there two people came to them unannounced.

First, an elderly man named Simeon.

And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, [Simeon] took Him up in his arms and blessed God… Luke 2:27-28

Then an eighty-four year old woman named Anna also walked up to them.

And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. Luke 2:38

So just because you may be late for the birth doesn’t mean it’s too late to meet Jesus. After all, most of the disciples won’t meet Him until He’s thirty years old.

So come meet Him today.

Abba, I pray for those that need to meet Jesus today. YES&AMEN

A Lesson from the Christmas Story – Working!

Merry Christmas! It’s Christmas Day!

Your plans may be to open presents or capture those precious memories as the kids open theirs.

You may be planning a big Christmas dinner, watching a Christmas movie or perhaps a church service to celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Whatever you are doing remember there are others that must work today, just like the shepherds were working.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8

The hospitals have doctors and nurses around the clock. The police and fire departments are staffed.
And, of course, there are men and women in the Armed Forces that are far, far from home and even though they may get off duty later on, they won’t be able to sit down with their families.

The shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:15

Just like the shepherds, each person should make the time to stop and visit with the Savior today – through prayer, praise, worship, and acts of kindness to others.

Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. Luke 2:17

Each should share with others the testimony of salvation and God’s blessings!

Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. Luke 2:20

Work is a part of living! You should return to work with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord!

Abba, I pray protection on those protecting me today. I pray they find time to pause and see the Christ today! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

A Lesson from the Christmas Story – No Room Here!

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

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A Lesson from the Christmas Story – Hardships

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. Luke 2:4-5

These days a census takes place every ten years and either a census taker comes by your home or something is mailed to you.

Can you imagine the difficulty of having to return back to the hospital were you were born for the census. Or if you were born at home, returning to that county’s courthouse for the purpose of a census.

It would be an unexpected expense and a far journey for many people. Linda would have to go to a hospital in Lufkin, our children to Nacogdoches, but I would have to go back to Baytown. At least we all stay in Texas though!

For Joseph and Mary it meant traveling 70 hard miles on foot, by wagon, or riding the back of an animal like a donkey. Still it was 70 difficult miles. That distance today can be done in less than an hour. Back then it would have taken almost 4 days!

Life is full of hardships, difficulties, and unexpected trips and expenses. But just because it’s a hardship doesn’t mean God is not in it!

Hardships are not meant to break you – but to make you stronger. Difficulties teach more lessons than books ever will.

I’ve noticed the more trouble that comes my way – the more God is glorified through His deliverance for me.

The end of that difficult journey for Joseph and Mary resulted in the birth of the Messiah.

Abba, I praise You through my difficulties and hardships because it shows how sufficient Your grace is for me, in Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Lessons from the Christmas story – Government

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Luke 2:1-3

Politics is always a hot topic. Everyone has an opinion about it.

I don’t like to bring up politics in church very often – it gets people’s mind off Christ and gets them dwelling on issues that get them riled up and angry.

The government has the ability to do things that doesn’t make everyone happy. If a Republican is in office then the Democrats complain. If a Democrat is in office then the Republicans moan and groan.
The government will never succeed at making everyone happy.

But Christians need to learn this lesson from the Christmas story – just because the government does something that unpopular – that doesn’t mean God cannot use it for His purpose.

The census that caused Joseph and a very pregnant Mary to travel 70 miles, brought them to the city of David – Bethlehem.
It was exactly where they needed to be when Jesus, the Messiah was born.

Only in Bethlehem could the prophecy of Micah.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. Mic 5:2

So next time the government does something that you don’t like – pray about it and watch God work!

Abba, keep me from complaining about the government and help me turn to You for all things good. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN