Devotional - December 2015


Thursday, Dec 31

Well, 2015 has come and gone and now we're welcoming a new year, 2016. It's true what they say: "The older you get, the faster time goes by." Was this past year full of victories or defeats? Happy days or sad? Spiritual growth or wilderness dwelling? If we're real honest, it was probably a bit of all those things. As we begin a new year, let me offer a few suggestions which may make your days more productive. First, get involved in a local church. Don't just drop in, but jump in with both feet. Second, find a mission project or participate in a mission trip. It could be a simple as helping a needy family or going to a third world country. It will help you with your perspective in life. Third, get involved in a small bible study group. Now let me be clear, not a gossip group, but a small group dedicated to studying God's word. Fourth, read the Bible in a year. It's God's word, shouldn't we be reading it. Finally, sow positive seeds of influence in our world. Lord knows we need it. Make 2016 the year of The Lord. Serve Him faithfully and the next 365 days can change the rest of your life. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Dec 30

Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it. I'm sure many of you remember the Garth Brooks song: "Unanswered Prayers ". Good song, but horrible theology. There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. All prayers are answered in the following manner: 1.Yes. 2. No or 3. Not now. Each prayer is answered according to God's will and not our own. So, back to our original statement: Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it. How many of us have had a loved one who has suffered with cancer, heart trouble, or some other life threatening disease? We have prayed until our knuckles are bloody from pounding on the door of heaven And then, our loved one slips away. How could God do such a thing? That's when we need to remember, death, for the believer is the ultimate healing. We don't see it that way, but it is. God healed the one you prayed for by allowing them to cross over to the joy of His presence. Prayer for healing answered. Not according to your will, but His. Not an easy answer, but ultimately the best answer. I hope this makes sense of the prayers He answers on a regular basis. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Dec 29

I hate to break this to you, but there are people out there who don't like you. I know, it's hard to believe isn't it? Here's the reality of your situation, some of those people will never like you no matter what you do. So here's a little advice: STOP TRYING TO WIN THEM AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR OTHER RELATIONSHIPS!!! Sorry, I got a little excited and didn't mean to yell. In my own life accepted the fact that there are people I'm never going to win over. So, I treat them with kindness, but I move on and cultivate other relationships. When you do that, then the situation is not your problem, but theirs. Believe me, it's a liberating feeling when you understand this. I've exhausted myself in the past trying to nurture a friendship that was never going to take place. It was frustrating, emotional, and disappointing. Then it hit me one day. Love this individual, but understand you'll never be close to them. Bam! "Free at last, free at last." I'm no longer hurt by their actions, I just move on. In reality I have but one relationship to worry about, that's my relationship with God. When that's right, it effects other relationships. So, love, be kind, but don't wear yourself out, you'll be happier and let God deal with the mean people. Godspeed.

Monday, Dec 28

The other day a church sign caught my eye. Now I'm going to be up front, I understand the context for which the sign was written, but it's a parable for today's church. The sign simply began by saying: "For you convienence, we will be offering a service.....". We won't finish the message of the sign. However, my question is this: "When did church become about convienence? Do you think it was convenient for Jesus to come from heaven to earth? Do you think it was convenient for Him to be rejected by the world? Do you think it was convenient for Him to bear in his body the sins of the world? Do you think it was convenient to carry that wooden cross through the streets of Jerusalem all the way to Golgotha? Do you think it was convenient for Him to die for the sins of the earth??? Good gracious!!! E.Stanley Jones, the great missionary, once said: "We have inoculated the world with a mild for of Christianity and have become immune to the real thing!" When Christ returns, I sure hope it will be an a convenient time for us. After all, we have no one to blame but us. Godspeed.

Sunday, Dec 27

When I was a boy growing up in Cleveland, Ms., one of the negative aspects of being a preacher's kid was I never got to sit with my Dad. He was the one always behind the pulpit. Whenever we'd have a revival, or a Gideon speaker, or special music, I'd always sit on the second row with great expectations of sitting with my Hero. After he had made all the important announcements, he'd make his way down to me, put his arm around me and pull me close to his side. Because these moments were so rare, I feel them like they were yesterday. Don't ever take your family time of worship for granted, the opportunity made not be there as long as you thinks. Today I'll attend church with my family, and just be a participant. I'll try not to grade the service nor the preacher, Lord knows I wouldn't want someone doing that to me. I'll pull one of my girls tight, and think about that feeling that still means so much to me. Godspeed.

Saturday, Dec 26

Well, December 25th has come and gone, so I have a question for you: How do you feel? Are you worn out from all the travel, preparations and gift opening? Are you dizzy because you feel like your world has been spinning out of control? Is your soul downcast because of the "Christmas blues"? Or was yesterday just another day in the assembly line of line? So many of us feel empty because we are. In reality, over the past few days, weeks, months, or even years our attention has been diverted. Much like an individual with ADD. Something has moved and our hearts have followed it. Unfortunately, the distraction isn't from above. The distraction comes from the world and it will do any and everything it can to keep you from hearing and experiencing the truth. But you know better!!! You and I were taught better. Just stop and breath. Allow the warmth of Christ to touch your heart. If you do, there's a good chance he'll touch your day too. Godspeed. And Merry Day After Christmas.

Friday, Dec 25

"For unto you is born in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." That's something we need to be aware of this day. For every time He is called "Savior", He is called "Lord" tens times. In other words, He has to have control over all of your life, not just the life you live on Sunday. Today's a good day to relinquish control of the rest of your heart and allow him full access to the all of your life. Strive to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Then He'll not only be Savior, but Lord. Merry Christmas my friends. Godspeed.

Thursday, Dec 24

Wednesday, Dec 23

I've always said: "Where there are 3 Baptist, there are 5 opinions. However, today I want to share with you a few nonnegotiables of our faith. This is in no way an exhaustive list, but they deal with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. After all, we are celebrating his birthday this season. First, I believe in the "virgin birth". There was something miraculous about his death, there was something glorious about his birth. Second, I believe he was fully man and fully God. Third, I believe in the atonement. There is no other way to be reconciled to God except through Jesus. Fourth, I believe he literally suffered, bled, and died on the cross. Fifth, I believe in the physical resurrection of his body. Through his resurrection, he conquered sin, death, and Hell. In the sixth place, I believe in the ascension of Jesus and I believe he's making intercession for you and me. I believe in the "Second Coming" when He will set up his earthly kingdom. I believe if you know him, you don't have to worry. I believe if you don't, you don't have any hope. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Dec 22

In the movie, "Field of Dreams", Doc Moonlight Graham, played by James Earl Jones, says: "We don't recognize significant moments as they pass before us. I thought there'd be other days. Little did I know, that ways the only day." So many of us fail to live life in the present. For some all of their happiness has occurred somewhere in our past. What a sad thought that all of our good days and joy have already happened and we live life with no anticipation nor expectancy. For others, everything they need for happiness is in the future. We fail to recognize the significance of this moment and today. You do understand this day is the only one promised to you, don't you? Stop thinking that yesterday and tomorrow holds the key for your life and live in this moment, this day. For you see, it's the only one promised to you. If I were you, I'd make the most of it. "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." Godspeed.

Monday, Dec 21

I've officially passed to the other side. The other side of age. I'm not really sure when it happened, but "old" moved in and took up lodging in my life. One of the ways to understand that you're getting old is to realize your ways and ideas are becoming extinct. One of those is my view of church. I understand that I'm a dinosaur when it comes to preaching and leading a church. During the month of December, we've always had special programs at the churches I've pastored. We still do it today. Last night we had Carols and Memories with our special guest, Edd Brashier. Edd played about 6 handbell solos. To say that it was spectacular, would be an understatement. These services add to the Christmas season as it prepares us for the celebration of Christ's birthday. However, if you'll look around, a lot of churches are calling off or don't have special programs on Sunday night during this time of year. I gotta tell you, I don't get it. Easter and Christmas deserve the best we can give of our time and talents. Hopefully I can hold on for 10 more years. Things are changing so fast and I'm not sure it's for the best. Godspeed.

Sunday, Dec 20

We've complicated Christmas. Do you remember when your parents or grandparents said: "Now we're going to be home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, if anyone wants to make it, well, we'd be glad to see you." These days, due to extended families, many of us have about 4 Christmases before December 25. Do you remember when you just had one Christmas party to attend each year? Now by the middle of December we've had something every night of the week. By the time we get to Christmas, we're about ready for it to be over with and the sad part is, we haven't really experienced the true meaning of the season. Slow down and take a breath. Read the second chapter of Luke's gospel and just think. You never know, you just might experience Christmas. Godspeed.

Saturday, Dec 19

In the movie, "Concussion", Wll Smith portrays Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who fought the NFL for suppressing information about brain damage suffered professional football players. There's a line in the movie which speaks volumes to where we are today as a society. A lawyer says: "You want to sue a company that owns a day of the week that use to belong to the church!" There was a time, when one day belonged to the church. It was God's day. A day set aside for worship and rest. Now days Sundays are looked upon as another Saturday. As we look at where we are today, why are we surprised? When God's people can't get it right, why would we expect the rest of the world to function in an orderly fashion? "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." What part of that do we not understand? Godspeed.

Friday, Dec 18

You never know how good you are until you compare your skills with someone better than you. It's a great measuring tool. This morning as I began my morning run, I met up with my old boss from my Mississippi College days as an admissions counselor, Buddy Wagner. Buddy's not only a great guy, but he's a great runner. He's qualified for the Boston Marathon many times and at one time I know he was in the top 5 marathon runners in the state of Mississippi. At this moment I'm struggling with plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Between the foot and Buddy's pace, they just about killed me. I was reminded again how fast he is and how slow I am. And I can guarantee you this, he was going slow for me. In a similar way, who do you compare your life to today? Pick out the right person and you can look pretty good. The standard of measurement we are to use is Jesus. Compared to him, you'll see how far you have to go. Godspeed and thanks for the good run Buddy.

Thursday, Dec 17

There are moments in the ministry when you actually have tangible evidence that God is working in the lives of his people. You get so see the difference He is making in the hearts of various individuals. This past year I had the honor of leading a young mom to accept Jesus as her Savior and Lord. Since that time, she is present at Sunday School, morning and evening worship, and Wednesday night. This past week she participated in a trip to Atlanta and worked at the Operation Christmas Child distribution center. The change Christ has made has been dramatic. Last night I talked to a little 7 year old boy about becoming a Christian. Four years ago, he was a handful. At children's choir they couldn't get him to come out from under his chair. When they did, he might kick his teacher in the shin. Now, nobody out sings him and he loves going to church. Every week when I see his big smile and it's a reminder to a sometimes cynical preacher that God is making a difference. Preach the word. It's sometimes years before you see results in other's lives. I thank Him for those gentle reminders. You should too. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Dec 16

I guess I've had it wrong all these years and just didn't realize it. I recently watched the sermon of a prominent religious leader who basically said: "Praying the sinner's prayer or accepting Jesus in our hearts is unbiblical and borders on being superstitious." The premise of this thought is about discipleship instead of just repeating a prayer. He goes on further to say that such a prayer is not in the Bible. True, that prayer isn't in the Bible, but not every prayer is in scripture. However, we are also told in John 21:25, "Not everything Jesus did is recorded in scripture." Romans 10:9 reminds us: "if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I John 1:9 states: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." One has to be careful in the manner they judge others in their acceptance of Christ. Now do I think that everyone who ever uttered that prayer is a Christian? No I don't. In order for salvation to occur I believe three things must happen in a life. First, there must be an intellectual understanding that there is a God who loved us so much that he sent his son to die on a cross so that we can have eternal life. Second, there must be an emotional draw to the heart led by the Holy Spirit which drives us to make a decision for Christ. Third, there must be a commitment of a life. All three have to exist in order to become a child of God. The sinner's prayer or accepting Jesus is the beginning of the journey. Countless lives have been changed because of that simple prayer. Is it in the Bible? No, but neither was the one I voiced earlier this morning. Each conversion experience is unique and personal. I'll side with the likes of Billy Graham and 99.9% of other preacher and missionaries who have expanded the Kingdom by asking someone: "Would you like to accept Jesus into your heart?" I've used it myself and will continue. I've purposely not mentioned the pastor's name, his theology and mine don't line up. I just think he overstepped the boundaries on this one. Just my opinion. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Dec 15

I'm one of those individuals who knows enough about computers to be dangerous. It's not that hard to navigate around from sight to sight, from this page to that page. That is, until the screen becomes frozen and the little arrow dingy won't move anymore. In that case I do the only thing I know how......shut the blasted demon down, that's right, cut it off and reboot!!! They tell me it's not good for the machine, but it works like a charm. To the contrary, what's bad for a computer can be good for a life. Do you find yourself stuck in a rut? Frozen due to life's circumstances?? Are you finding it difficult to navigate the sights and sounds of your life? Then reboot. The good news of the Gospel is that your life can be a do over with the forgiveness of your Heavenly Father. That's what Christmas is all about, the opportunity to reboot. Now it won't eliminate the scars and consequences of past actions, but it does give you hope. And right now, that's what many of us need. Here's to rebooting our lives. It works. Godspeed.

Monday, Dec 14

The other day I saw a post on Facebook which indicated that the Vatican had come out and said that the Jewish people don't need Jesus to be saved. ( Now, I will be honest and admit I haven't done my research to make sure they did, but let me make the following observation about salvation). I guess I find this interesting because salvation doesn't come through birthright. If it did, then in the third chapter of John's gospel, Jesus misspoke when he told Nicodemus that even Jew...ish man, who was an expert in the Law had to be born again. Also, I guess in the 14th chapter of John, Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes unto the Father except through me." Now, to believe in any other method of salvation is to call Jesus a liar. Furthermore, the entire New Testament in useless. I can't judge any man nor woman, for only God knows their heart. However, I can say, to claim there is another way to God other than by His one and only Son is a devil's lie!!! You might think I'm harsh or narrow minded. That may be true. However, I am going to take Jesus at his word. That way I don't have to take chances with my salvation. What others do, they'll answer for that. Godspeed.

Sunday, Dec 13

In February, 2011, we had the opportunity to spend 10 days in the Holy Land. Our trip included a visit to the Shepherd's Field and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. As we were walking back to our tour bus, I was approached by a lady from China. In broken English she simply asked me: "Christian ?" I acknowledged that yes I was a Christian. She then informed me that she too was a follower of Christ. As a matter of fact, she was touring with her church and pastor. When I told her I was a pastor, she ran and brought her pastor to me along with her group. There we all were, they didn't speak much English and we spoke no Chinese. Suddenly my new friend said: "Let's sing a song!" A song? And so it began.....We sang "Silent Night" together. We sang in English while they sang in Chinese. Suddenly, others came and joined in. Each singing in their own language, but all worshipping The King of Kings. Christmas reminds us that He came for all. I'll never forget that moment. Godspeed my friends.

Saturday, Dec 12

At this time of year we see so many post on Facebook appalled at the very thought that Christ has been taken out of Christmas. People rant and rave that we use the phrase, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". I'm not even going down the path that the term holiday derived its name from holy day. That's already been done. However, this is my gripe.......I'd rather see you take a stand for Christ than just protest at Christmas. And I guess I'd like to know of the ones griping the most, does He mean that much to you the other 11 months out of the year? Do you regularly attend His church with His people? Are you involved in a Bible study? Do you give of your time, talents and tithe? Are you involved in a ministry or a mission? Sometimes the ones who scream the loudest, do the least. I know the meaning of Christmas because I know the Christ. Don't expect the world to rise to a standard that most church goers are even achieving. As for me and my house, well, we'll celebrate Christmas and serve the Lord. Godspeed.

Friday, Dec 11

Well, it looks like it's really going to happen. Yesterday we had our pre construction meeting with our architect and builder and the plan is to start on our new sanctuary ASAP. The time for the completion of this project is 365 days. In other words, we should be in our new facility by next Christmas. I'm actually praying that our first service will be a Christmas Eve service. What better time to launch? I've learned so much through this process. This has most definitely bee...n an exercise in patience. Far too often we tend to run before God and act in our best interest. But God's timing is everything. Second, I've been blessed with a great church family! When we voted to build this sanctuary, our vote was 99.9 percent in favor of doing so. That's almost unheard of in a Baptist church. However, what I've really been amazed at is: our attendance is up, giving is up, mission giving is up, baptisms are up, and it seems like we have new people every week. That's a sign of a healthy congregation. Third, God has reminded me what's really important, and that is to enjoy the ride with Him. There have been moments in my ministry that I've zoomed from one thing to another. I'm soaking this all in. Why? Because when you have God's man for God's church, in God's time, amazing things happen. However, all three have to work together. I found that out the hard way. So, it looks like the old slab will be removed in the next week, and the new will be poured shortly. Thank you Lord for the early Christmas present. Godspeed.

Thursday, Dec 10

Growing up in Cleveland, Mississippi, which is the heart of the Delta, was a great experience. Each year, about this time we had two formal dances. For us Baptist we called them rhythmatic exercise or foot fellowship. The two dances held were the Cotillion dance and the Stage dance. The Cotillion dance was a bit unusual in that the girl asked the boy to the function and the Stage was just the opposite. We had two at Christmas and two in the spring. So do the math, four formal...s a year. The age when one began to participate was around the ninth or tenth grade year of a teenage. These were big events and in order to participate, you had to have a bid, or an invitation to get into the doors of the Country Club. It was a festive occasion which included a live band. It was pretty much the social highlight of the year. But it was exclusive, as most parties are. The good news for us this year is, an invitation or bid has been sent to you. It's an invitation to a banquet or party, of which this world has never seen. The aspect of this party which makes it so unusual is, the bid or invitation comes in a form of a baby, who was laid in a manger. Don't miss this, the invitation is inclusive.......for all. Don't believe me? Read John 3:16. The world includes you. Don't miss this party, it's going to be a gas!!!! Oh, the dances from my youth??? You bet I was there!!!! I haven't always been a preacher!!! Godspeed.

Wednesday, Dec 9

Christmases are different for me these days. That happens when your parents die and your family starts having families of their own. But every year I journey back in my mind's eye to my childhood and remember a few things that made this time of year special for me. Christmas was an annual trip to the Cleveland Exchange Club tree lot and selecting ours. Christmas was the Sears wish book the day after Thanksgiving. It was cleaning the yard up and hanging the wreaths for the neighborhood decorating contest. Christmas was hoping the church Christmas bonus was big so we'd get what we wanted. Christmas was going to see Santa at the Sears store. Christmas was a annual trip to Kamiens Department Store to get my mom some pantyhose and my Dad some Jiffy house shoes. Christmas was two weeks out of school. It was hoping I'd get something with a New York Jets emblem on it. Christmas was a church contata each year. It was riding around and looking at Christmas lights throughout the town. Christmas was getting two pair of socks from Clara and Stanley Child, our across the street neighbors. It was opening our gifts on Christmas morning. Christmas was a big family breakfast and lunch. It was immediately calling Sam Pitts and finding out what he got. Christmas was about getting what I asked for, but really never asking for much.(That is if you exclude the electric football game I got.....never worked like it did on TV). Christmas was an orange and Cracker Jacks in my stocking. Christmas was remembering the reason for our celebration. Christmas was actually using the word CHRISTMAS. I miss those days, but I'm grateful for the memories, for they helped shape and mold me into who I am. Christmas was special, it still is, it may have been more simple, or possibly I just saw it through the eyes of a child. Maybe that's a lesson we all need to remember. Merry Christmas Cleveland!!!!! I sure miss you this time of year. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Dec 8

What business is your church into??? Politics??? Personal power? The business of disunity or strife? Is your church in the midst of a hostile takeover? Is your church in the business of launching a new program? Well, these days, churches are into so many things, some even good things, but possibly not the right things. The only business the church should engage is "Kingdom Business." In order to do that, we have to establish who's kingdom is it? You see, the reason why so many churches are in turmoil today is they've taken their eyes off the prize. It doesn't matter about whether or not you like the music, but rather is God being glorified. Getting your way is not the top priority, but rather surrendering to His way. Stop taking a consumer's attitude to the House of God, and start submitting to His authority. Recognize that the church belongs to Him, not you. This Christmas, refocus your mind on what's really important and that is that hearts are softened and lives are changed by the entrance of the Christ child. Once again discover the difference He can make in a life, a family, and a church when He, and He alone is central. Kingdom business is the right business. Godspeed.

Monday, Dec 7

The other day I had an opportunity to share the gospel with a group of children ranging from 4th grade to the 6th. A lot of the kids in that room had already made a profession of faith and I'd had the privilege of baptizing them. After we had prayed together, the kids were ready to get back to their schedule, but one child ran up to me and said: " It's pretty easy to become a Christian." Yep, it is, but many people, even at Christmas, miss it. The mess our world finds itself in today pales in comparison to a life without Christ. For indeed, there is but one cure for a drifting soul and that antidote is Christ. Children get it, but why as adults have we become so cynical? Maybe our faith needs a dose of childlike wonder. Then, possibly, our eyes would be open to the change the living God can make in a life, especially at Christmas. Godspeed.

Sunday, Dec 6

The other day after a good workout at the gym, I got into my car and checked my phone for messages. There was one from a church member and she had an interesting question. From time to time I receive text messages from some of my Sunday School teachers with questions about their lessons. I must say, when I saw the messenger, I was curious about the message. It simply asked the question: "In Peanuts Christmas movie, what are the children singing as they gather around the tree? This is the deep mystery of the universe that this individual needs? Why would I be asked this of all questions? Of course I immediately responded: "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". Somehow I knew that piece of trivia would pay off one day. All in a day's work as a pastor. We're here to serve. Godspeed.

Saturday, Dec 5

Okay, so let me get this straight. We had the single largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 and we're not sure it's a terrorist attack. California has the strictest gun control laws in America and our solution is more gun control?? We have Muslim Extremists and our President won't even use that phrase for fear of offending others. I've worked under the assumption that this administration just doesn't get it, but I've come to the conclusion that's not the issue at ...all. This administration doesn't want to get it nor fix it. The Daily News in New York had a headline this week which read: "God Isn't Fixing This". It was a slam on several political figures suggesting that they were praying for the families in San Bernardino following the massacre of 14 innocent people attending a Christmas party. The fact is, our prayers are not for a solution, but rather for comfort and healing. People who criticize this practice have no clue about the power of prayer. Second, this mess we find ourselves in, isn't God's mess to clean up, but I can assure you, it can't be cleaned up without his help. If you don't believe me, then you just called God a liar and quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. Read II Chronicles 7:14. I have zero confidence in our current President, he embarrassed himself the other night when he stated the theme to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was about the love and care for trees. Charles Schultz must have been turning in his grave. If you can't understand simple things, how can you possibly understand big ones? Say what you want about the last President, I've heard how dumb and inept he was, but I can assure you, he kept us safe. The current occupant of the White House, not so much. His idea of gun control is not even close to mine. Mine is holding it with two hands. Godspeed and God help us.

Friday, Dec 4

Okay, you remember our story yesterday about Miss. Dot. Well it's about to get real interesting. Yesterday during our staff prayer time I mentioned this lady that I had met at the hospital the day before. I didn't know her last name, but I described her circumstances. My assistant's eyes opened widely and she blurted out: "I know who you're talking about. She came in a week or so and filled out a request for help, it's on your desk. Okay, you have to keep in mind, I had never... seen nor met this lady before Tuesday. Now I'm looking at her request. Hello! I don't need another sign. She has moved up the food chain for assistance. However, yesterday's post was one of the most read and liked post I've had in a while. Now my question is: Do you want to put feet to your faith this Christmas? Miss Dot cleans hospital rooms for a living. Our church is going to help. But what about you? Her need is so great. If you missed yesterday's post, go back and read it. I'm going to give you an opportunity to give Miss Dot, the best Christmas possible. You can send a check to my attention at: Pleasant Baptist Church, 1383 Pleasant Hill Road, Columbus, Ms. 39702. Memo the check Miss Dot. Inbox me and let me know you want in on the blessing. Just curious about the power of social media. I'll post pictures and give you a report. She'll get 100% of what comes into our church. Let's see what will happen. Godspeed.

Thursday, Dec 3

As I walked out of the hospital room yesterday, I heard a voice. "Are you a preacher?" It was the cleaning lady for the facility. She must have overheard me pray with my church member whom I was visiting. When I told her I was indeed a pastor, without hesitation, she just started telling me that she recently had to put her husband of 50 plus years in a nursing home. It seems as though he has suffered many setbacks, but now Alzheimer's had robbed him of his memory, but also re...ndered him as a danger to her. To make things worse, he's two towns over because that's the only place that would take him. She talked openly and honestly right there in the hallway of that hospital. What really got me was, she reached out to me. Be alert to those around you, you'll never know when your services will be needed through a kind word, or just a prayer. Pray for Dot this morning and her husband. Pray for others whom nobody else prays for today. I know she'd appreciate it. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Dec 2

This time of year our television is flooded with Hallmark Christmas movies. I don't know if you've noticed, but every one of them has the same plot. Boy meets girl, girl doesn't care for boy, but through a chain of events, girl falls in love with boy. (If we want to stretch it out, sometimes boy is really Santa in need of a bride.) It's the same story for all 800 Elvis movies. They are for the most part, good wholesome Christmas movies. And I can tell you, they're better than... most of the junk on the old idiot box, as my Dad use to refer to the TV. The same old story doesn't imply it's a bad story. The plot of the real Christmas story is pretty much the same. God loves humanity, humanity doesn't care much for God, God demonstrates his love by coming into the world in the form of a baby, humanity realizes it's lost and needs a Savior, millions surrender their hearts in response to such wondrous love. Just because a story is familiar, doesn't mean it's not relevant and life changing. Hear it again through fresh ears. It just might change your life. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Dec 1

I'm sure you've heard the Christmas song which states: "It's the most wonderful time of the year." But sadly for so many, it's the worst part of the year. Have you ever suffered from the blues at Christmas? Everyone else is happy, but you find yourself in a funk and stuck in neutral. No matter what you do, you just can't seem to jump start your holiday season. May I offer a few suggestions? First, set aside a little time each night and read the Christmas story from the second chapter in Luke. Read it to your children or even your grandchildren. You'll be surprised at how your perspective will change. Second, do something out of the ordinary for someone else. Adopt an angel from the Salvation Army, make a few care packages for people in the nursing home. Get the attention off of you and your situation. It's hard to love others appropriately when we're only thinking of ourselves. Finally, talk to someone about your situation. It could be a preacher, a counselor, or even a close friend. Getting help and getting healthy mentally isn't a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. It can still, and should be the most wonderful time of the year, but you may just have to work a bit harder to make it so. Godspeed.

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