Monthly Archives: December 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I hope your Christmas was as full of joy, happiness, and family-togetherness as ours was.  Here is Emma’s video of the post-present mess made on her new video camera.

We will be out of town until after New Year’s Day so have a happy New Year!

Brian


My Favorite Christmas Passage This Year

This year, God is making the Christmas story new and fresh to me.  I have fallen in love with the words of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, spoken after he regained his voice.  He tells of God’s attributes and the things that Christ would accomplish.  I have put those parts in bold.                                                                                                                   

Luke 1:67-79

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,

because he has come and has redeemed his people.

69He has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David

70(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),

71salvation from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us–

72to show mercy to our fathers

and to remember his holy covenant,

73the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

74to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,

and to enable us to serve him without fear

75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;

for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,

77to give his people the knowledge of salvation

through the forgiveness of their sins,

78because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

79to shine on those living in darkness

and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

 

Amen.  Merry Christmas.

 

Brian


Be Still and Be Quiet

I am having a hard time concentrating this week.  At work, home, and in my time with God.  Yesterday and today, my mind is racing so that I can’t stop and focus on one thing.  That’s when Ps. 46:10 and 131:2 have to become disciplines rather than just verses we quote.

 Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul;like a weaned child with its mother,like a weaned child is my soul within me.  

God said, “Be still and know that I am God.”  David said, “I have stilled and quieted my soul.”  It sounds like his mind was racing too, so he had to make an effort to stop and quiet it.  That’s where I’ve been this week.  Anyone else?


Leave It Alone!

I heard a new recording of “O Holy Night” Saturday.  I noticed that in the last verse the artist substituted the word “Noel” a few times in place of the line that says “His power and glory evermore proclaim.”  I say, “leave it alone!”  Don’t mess up a beautiful song with a great message for a secular album.  If you choose to sing the song, sing it like it is.  Of course, I am very dogmatic about leaving Christ in Christmas.  If you sing a true Christmas song, it is about Christ.  Sing another song if you don’t want to sing about Him.

 Brian


Huckchuck a Winner in My Book

Ok, I don’t say much about politics.  But this guy is for real, and he is “real.”  And he has a sense of humor.  How can you go wrong with Chuck Norris on your side?

 Brian


Pure and Faultless Religion

 What does God expect?  Wow, what a question.  And a dangerous one at that, because the answer can sound very “works-oriented salvation”  if we are not careful.  So let’s assume that we all have a deep and real relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Good.  Now what does God expect?  True worship.  Worship in spirit and in truth.  What does that mean?  Man, I am full of questions today.  Well, the answer is more than I want or could write today.  But let’s start where God has been speaking to me latelty.  This falls under the Romans 12:1 type of worship.

There are things that God simply says in the bible that we should do.  And things that please Him.  Here’s the one that He keeps pressing on me lately:

James 1:27 (NIV) 
    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 Then just this morning He said this:

Hebrews 13:15-16 (NIV) 
    Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. [16] And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

God keeps drawing me back to the fact that He wants us to take care of those in need.  Physically, yes, but also those with spiritual and emotional needs.  Yet, our ministries and our lives get so busy that we over look those people quite often.  Recently, that has been the case in my life.  Busyness and “important” matters have drawn me to overlook those in need – all kinds of need.  I must to look at things a little differently.  Maybe I need to be a little less prepared for rehearsal so that I can touch someone in the hospital.  Sometimes I need to drop something “important” and go visit someone who needs a touch.  Maybe a monetary gift from someone isn’t even for me, I may just be a conduit to get it to someone else.  Now, don’t think I’ve gotten it down.  This is an area I need to grow in.  Would You pray for me in this area?  Would you look for the “widow and the orphan” and be willing to let something go to touch them as the hands and feet of Jesus?

 I want pure and faultless religion.  Lord, please help me to please You!

Brian


How Big is God?

My kids often ask that question.  It is a hard one to answer, mostly because I can’t even begin to fathom how “big” He is.  I am awestruck at His massive nature.  Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, was the same way.  Even when He built the temple that God wanted he said:

 

  “But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

2 Chron. 6:18

 

Solomon realized that God’s bigness was not the greatest wonder, but that a God that big would dwell with men.  And to think, Solomon lived before the birth, life, and cross of Christ.  How much more amazed should we be at the miracle of God with us and God dying for us.  Thank God today for His love.  Thank Him for the cross.  That He would not only choose to dwell with men, but sacrifice His only Son to do so.

 

Thank you, God.  You are good and your love endures forever.  Amen.

 

Brian