DECEMBER 9

I don’t know if you’ve seen a post on Facebook that asks you if you can see a number hidden inside a series of lines. Another one may ask you if you can find a letter or a number hidden beside other letters. Supposedly if you can find these hidden gems in a certain period of time, your a genius. Well let me tell you, I’ve found them all and I can assure you, I’m no genius.

The same could be said about Christmas. As you navigate the stores shopping for gifts, will you find Christ in Christmas? As you address your seasonal cards, will you find Christ in Christmas? As you travel to be with friends and family, will you find Christ in Christmas? The problem with so many of us this time of year, we miss the main thing because we’ve substituted other things in its place.

Maybe, just maybe we need to journey back to Bethlehem and kneel before the manger. Quite possibly we need to be reminded that Christmas isn’t about us, but “God with us”. Don’t miss Christmas this year because your too busy looking for other things that you miss Christ. Godspeed my friends.



DECEMBER 8

 

When I was a child and something hurt my feelings or offended me, my parents taught me that everyone is entitled to their opinion. They also taught me that it’s necessary sometimes to put your big boy pants on and deal with it. However, they never taught me to be disrespectful nor obnoxious. As a matter of fact, my Dad always told me: “There are only so many hills you can die on in life. Die on the ones that matter”. In other words he was telling me that I’d cut my life short by exhausting my efforts on little things in life that don’t matter.

I’m constantly amazed today at what really offends some individuals. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is now offensive. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” is now offensive. But what’s not offensive is interrupting a political figures dinner or breakfast in a public place with vulgar and unnecessary hate. What’s not offensive is a high school band portraying the killing of policemen during a halftime program. What’s not offensive is degrading the highest office in the land each night on talk shows. What’s not offensive is the removal of everything that might suggest Jesus during the Christmas season.

Oh, but I know what some will say. We are guaranteed free speech. Well that applies to everyone, even the Christians of the world. This is a hill we must be willing to die upon. This season, speak a word for Christ. Remember, don’t chase crazy, you’ll never catch it. Godspeed my friends.



DECEMBER 7

Each year during the Christmas season our deacons host a widows/widowers banquet for those who have lost their spouses. It’s just a simple way for our church to communicate to these special people that we haven’t forgotten them. I’m sure no one wants to be invited to this particular event or included in the number. And by the way, the number grows each year.
This year it was suggested to us the we change the name of our banquet from “Widows/Widowers Banquet” to “Survivors Dinner”.

During the evening, our guests are served a wonderful meal, including a fabulous desert. We have entertainment each year and finally, our deacons present our guests with a special gift. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s a big deal to those who are invited.

This year as I was making my rounds from table to table, I was stopped in my tracks. There were three ladies, whose husbands have gone on to be with the Lord fairly recently. In reality, these were the young ladies of our group. My heart was in my throat, because I knew it was especially hard for these beautiful ladies to be there that night. Then it hit me. My love, my time, my concern, and my friendship was the greatest gift I could give these individuals. That’s part of Christmas, ministering to those who need to be remembered. It is a season of joy, but for some it’s a season of pain. Let’s share the pain and demonstrate the love of Christ. For that’s what we’ve been called to do. Godspeed my friends.


DECEMBER 6

I can remember Christmas as a child, we didn’t always get an abundance, but we got enough. I recall one particular year all I wanted was three NFL sweatshirts from Sears. You may be old enough to remember the old Wish Book Sears released each year around Thanksgiving. At that time there was no NFL merchandise sold in stores. About the only place one could purchase an article of clothing with an “official” team logo was either at the stadium of the team or from Sears. Since there were no NFL franchises in the Mississippi Delta, we had to depend on Sears.

I can still sense the joy of Christmas morning when those sweatshirts were spotted in my appointed area of the living room. It was about all I asked for and it was about all I got, but I was happy and content. These days Christmas has become about more. The sad part is, for some, the more they get, the less content they are. Maybe we need more of the most significant things rather than the material things. We could need more time with family. Possibly we need more understanding and forgiveness. Quite possibly, we need more time dedicated to Christ and less time to the masses. It could be that we need a little more peace and quiet times in our lives. Possibly, we just need to be still and know that He is God. Sometimes less is actually more. I know it was when I was a child. Godspeed my friends.

 

DECEMBER 5

Every so often I’ll scroll down my Facebook page before I write my blog just to check the pulse of my friends. As I did this morning, I noticed a variety of emotions. Some are mad while others are cynical. Some are happy, while others are dealing with heartbreak and sorrow. I wish there was something I could do to meet each and every need out there. Unfortunately, that’s not in my limited bag of talents. However, I will just take this moment to remind you we’re in the Christmas season. Yep, even in a time of darkness and despair, there is a call to a common good.

Maybe it would do us well if we closed our book of complaints on life and saw the good in life and others. Oh I realize one has to look hard for the good in some people. But have you ever considered you might be one of those folks. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I can be one of the hard ones to love. But even in my depraved condition, God loves me as I am. He therefore calls me to demonstrate that love to others as well. So just for a moment, think of how you can be a blessing to someone else today. It could come from an encouraging word or an embrace. Who knows, maybe just a smile can change another’s outlook on the day. Make this a day of hope for those you meet. After all, that’s the mandate we’ve been given. Godspeed my friends.

 

DECEMBER 4

There are times when pastors are accused of having their favorites. Well allow me to let you in on a little secret, they do. That’s just a simple fact of life. If you work at a business, I would imagine you are closer to some of your co-workers than others. If your children attend school, most likely they have a friend group. If you’re involved in a civic or social club, there people you’re closer to than others. And finally, if you attend church, you have a group of friends who share your common interest. The same is true with the pastor. However, why does it cause some people such great heartburn when the minister actually has friends?

Several years ago, I was berated by a lady in our church for spending too much time with certain people. (These individuals were my friends.) She went on to say that I had never been to her house or ever done anything with her family. I simply looked at her and said: “You’ve never once invited me or my family to your house. If you would like to, we’d gladly accept.” The reality is, she never did. What was her problem? Jealousy, pure and simple.

The ministry is without question, a lonely profession. Don’t deny your pastor a friend group. He’ll need them more than you will ever know. After all, remember, Jesus had his 12. At least let your minister have a few without feeling guilty. Godspeed my friends.

 

DECEMBER 3

I’ll be traveling to the Natchez area today in order to get my annual physical. It’s one of those necessary things that one has to do at my age. People have asked my I continue to travel so far to see my physician? It’s simple and reason is two fold. First, I know my doctor. For nearly 20 years he has been my doctor, but more importantly, he’s been my friend. Second, I trust him with my life. He’s one of those guys that if he told me to eat dirt, I wouldn’t go look it up on the internet, I’d just eat the dirt. For those two reasons, I don’t mind the drive in order to see Dr. Ed Daly.

The same reasons I trust my doctor are the same two reasons I trust and follow my Savior. I know my God, but furthermore he knows me. As a matter of fact, he knows everything about me and yet, he still loves me as I am. Second, I can trust him with every area of my life. I can also trust him to not only provide my salvation, but to keep my salvation. I trust and follow him because he did for me what I could never do for myself.

I’m blessed to have a great doctor who takes care of my physical needs. However, I’m blessed to serve the Great Physician who takes care of my every need. Godspeed my friends.

 

DECEMBER 2

Today is the first Sunday of the Advent Season as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child. Over 2000 years ago, God waited for the perfect time to send His son into the world. The problem was, so many people missed it. The religious folks didn’t realize it. The political people missed it. All the signs pointed to the coming of the Messiah into the world. However, only a few shepherds, who were watching their flocks actually experienced the birth of our Savior.

So as we enter into this season of hope, what are you doing to prepare for Christmas? Have you put up a tree? Have you hung a wreath? Have you shopped for those special gifts? Have you made your travel arrangements? You can do all those things and still not be ready for Christmas. The ancient Jewish people missed the first coming of Christ because they weren’t prepared. Hopefully we won’t do the same with his second coming. Oh, and by the way, he is coming again!

Start now by not only opening your house to Christmas, but also your heart to the true meaning of this season. Today, Christ has come that you might have hope. Hope for a future, but hope for today as well. Godspeed my friends.

 

DECEMBER 1

If you can change something, change it. If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it. Today is the day. I’ve trained and prepared for this race for months. Originally I thought it would be cold and clear. Perfect running conditions for me. However, that’s not the case. Furthermore, there’s not one thing I can do about the bad weather. All that’s left is to run the race the best I can.

That’s the same philosophy we need to use in life. There are certain things that happen which we have no control. So we can do one of two things. First we can gripe about our situation or second, make something of it. It’s race day, and it’s time to roll. This is the day the Lord has made, I will run and be glad in it. Godspeed my friends.

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