Archive for December, 2009
3:12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
a shirt, sweater, blouse, a jacket, a suit, a hoodie,
a tie, a purse, or shoes. it is nice to have new clothes..
What do we do with the gifts of Christmas?
put them away among other things? OR use them up the first week?
We hope that every child in Fannin County received some warm clothes this Christmas I would guess, without hesitation, that if we found a child or person without warm clothes we would do all in our power to see that they had warm clothes..
But the truth is that we need more than.. Christmas presents, More than warm clothes, we need the gifts found in Christ, to live the lives we already have:
Hat of Compassion.. Use heads 2 reach Hearts
Sweater/Shirt of Kindness..warm & welcoming
Pants/Skirt/Dress of Humility..2cover a multitude
Belt of Meekness.. to hold our selves together
Shoes of Patience.. to stand in and walk with
Suspenders: hold each other up with Forgiveness
Underwear: Love, trimmed perfection & harmony
What do we do with the gifts of Christmas?
Use them in our daily lives: What did you get?
Peace rule your heart Thanksgiving be always at hand
Word guide your minds and lips Wisdom to your mind
Gratefulness in your songs and praises And in all ways and in all things:
Living knowing you are in the presence of Jesus.
It is still Christmas: Continue to Dress for the Celebration
To the world it is a one day holiday
To the tradition it is nearly two weeks of worship
To the Christian, it is as much a part of our every day as putting on close and doing our daily list of todo’s
The greatest testament2 Christ is 2live each day as Christ-With-Us.
Live as the gifted children of God, we are:
Don’t take back old ways and worn out rags:
Let the presence of Christ be worn in all we do.
December 20, 2009 Let Your Face Shine Psalm 80:1-7
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. 6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. 9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches; 11 it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River. 12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? 13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it. 14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 15 the stock that your right hand planted. 16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance. 17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. 18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name. 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
What a precious moment to look at the warm and wrinkly face of a newborn child.
It is a joy to see the love on the face of a bride and groom as the come to the alter in marriage.
One year, santa had left me a flash for my camera: as school photographer I wanted to capture Christmas Morning with my new flash, so I loaded up and captured blinded shots of my family getting out of bed from four feet away.
If looks should judge/shame: look away.
If looks, could kill: Don’t point it at me.
If, looks could heal: Look this way
If, looks would restore: Glance this way
Vs 3, 7, 14, 19.. look at us.
..look at us.
See out need
See us as your people
See us with out empty vines
See us filled with the emptiness of sin
See us, Shine your face on us and
RESTORE US to you.
2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
Imagine gathering your water from a well, in the middle of town, carrying your water home and making enough trips, waiting in line for others, until you had the water for the day.
Imagine gathering water from a well for a family you served, from a well in the middle of town, carrying the water that others would drink, making enough trips, waiting in live for others, until you had their water for the day.
Imagine gather water from a well for a family you served 800 miles from a home your parents were taken away from, gathering water for the children of the parents who took your parents from their home.
Imagine the day, you found joy in gathering water that God provides, when you are back home.
Imagine the day, that you would go to God for living Water, and find more than drink, you would find – salvation, wholeness, joy and rest together..
Imagine the night you stayed up all night watching your investment of sheep rest, worried that wild animals or thieves might take them if you slept.
Imagine that night you stayed up all night watching someone else’s investment of sheep rest, worried that you would have nothing if you lost this job and you worried about the wild animals and thieves might take the sheep or hurt you or both.
Imagine that night you had all the sheep calmed down and all were rested and the sky filled with light and hills rumbled with the voice and trumpets of God’s angels, and God’s messengers spoke directly to you, telling you that God’s messiah and SAVIOR was born for the you and the whole world, in the little city of Bethlehem.
Imagine the day you came to church and hear some Bible story about some people long ago, but you only heard the words as your mind wondered about your worries, responsibilities, or curiosity about someone seated near you.
Imagine the day you came to worship and you listen to words from the Bible and you heard the story and reflected upon its meaning and you tucked it away for future references as one of interest at some future time.
Imaging the day you come to worship and you hear the voice of God speaking to your heart through the words that were first spoken so long ago, but they bring hope and assurance that God is with you, and will be with you through it all, right through the end… and will be on the other side when we get there too. BUT today, the words bring joy and life to your own heart.
Isaiah, the prophet: calls the people to have faith, and know comforts…
God has not forgotten us. God has not left us.
Even in times of crisis or exile,
n Hear is the Good News:
Is your spirit thirsty for more? Draw out some living water.
Is your life filled with fear, failure, fatigue or faithlessness. Go to God’s well.
Do you know someone whose heart/mind are weary, flooded, or drowning?
Jump into the well of Salvation. God will meet you there.
.. As Christmas draws near: We have a well of Hope and Joy to share:
The angels appeared to shepherds, first: Isaiah speaks2 outcast, faithless, weary..
Have Joy: Find what you don’t already have/know – in God’s saving grace:
By reaching out to someone: you are bringing them to the well of salvation:
HOPE, JOY, TRUST, WHOLENESS, RELATIONSHIP, and Grace
Happy Advent! CHRISTmas is coming..
See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
He Is On His Way… and he has more than loaded his sleigh
2012: Predictions of the End… There are both camps:
No one knows but the father vs. End Times Signs Revealed Leading up..
The Winner Is… (either way: He is on his way.. so get ready.
The Cat in the Hat: What will you do while your Mother is out?
Don’t live like it doesn’t matter.. the end is far off
Don’t live like it doesn’t matter.. the end is near
Central to Advent is remembering that Christ is on the way
Christ is on the way, through us, until he comes himself
So, whether he is, or he is through us… He is coming.
Say it with me: He is Coming
Who Can Endure the.. Day of his Appearing
Now, the appeals of Santa’s coming over Jesus’ coming deals with presents
Santa promises a sack full of treats and toys for good girls and boys.
Jesus promises forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.. by far better, but hard 2sell
The promise is with Christ’s coming: will follow destruction, disaster, a division
The promise with Santa’s coming: will follow sweet dream of sugar plums &naps
The faithful task we have is to know
Not go’na mention: How many under-paid non-Christian long-hour laborers made the gifts we receive
Rather: How will we endure economic droughts, natural disasters, political “environment”
ð As people of faith: will FEAR defeat us? Will things satisfy our desires?
ð There is a certainty that troubles are bad, and worse will come:
o Are we ready? For the Little things, the big ones and the ultimate one?
o SAY IT WITH ME: ARE WE READY?
He will Sit as a Refiner..
Nothing Could be finer than to be in Alabama, on that Morning. (what about next week?)
Metals are melted to separate the waste from the prize.
Incredible Heat that melts and changes the state
Dividing Sheep and Goats seems painless, compared to becoming liquid to reveal our flaws.
Wouldn’t it be better to look in the spiritual mirror and confess our sins and brokenness?
Wouldn’t it be easier to confess our pride, greed, fear and failures now?
What can we do? Start the Refining Work.
Follow the example of John the Baptist: Hear the call to Repentance
Turning from a lump of coal into a precious diamond: Intense Pressure
Turning bits, pieces and flakes into a nugget of Gold: Concentrated Heat.
Turing a busy neighbor into a friend in Jesus Christ… neither pressure nor heat.
RATHER: RADICAL Hospitality…
Invite 12 people to the cantata next week, call them Monday.
Send them a card or note on Tuesday.
Email them on Wednesday
Send them a Christmas Card with no mention of church on Thursday
Friday call them to offer then a ride.
Saturday pray for them one-by-one, name-by-name
Sunday come to worship and wait with hope!
The next week: start on Christmas Eve Worship!
Then, just keep going until every knee is bowed and every tongue confesses and the Lord says well done good and faithful servant.. Glory! It’s good to have you home.