Category - Uncategorized

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A Season of Promises Fulfilled: Mighty Names
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A Season of Promises Fulfilled: House of Bread
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From Distress to Rejoicing
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Employees are not for Employers
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A Fool’s Focus

A Season of Promises Fulfilled: Mighty Names

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For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

I vividly remember being the kid who got mad every time I saw “X-mas” rather than “Christmas.” I felt as though, accidently or not, people were taking Christ out of Christmas.

Many years later, I was sitting in Biblical Greek class in college and learned about the “chi rhos” (pronounced “keye ross”). The early church used the first two letters of “Christos” (translated as “Christ”) to create a symbol to represent the name of Jesus.

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“X-mas” can still mean “Christmas,” though if you don’t want to be mistaken for taking Christ out of Christmas, it’s probably better to go ahead and write out His full name.

As the energy and excitement of Christmas begins to fade, let’s be reminded that we celebrate the birth of our God in human form. He truly is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace.

Happy (almost) New Year!

A Season of Promises Fulfilled: House of Bread

 

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Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.” – Micah 5:2

West Tennessee has some crazy town names: Three Way, Frog Jump, Bucksnort, Milan (pronounced MY-lynn) and Medina (pronounced Muh-DINE-uh). I like to think Bethlehem had a similar reputation. Micah writes that it is a small clan in Judah. And study of the Hebrew language reveals that it actually means “House of Bread.” Bethlehem would fit in nicely as a town near me.

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From Distress to Rejoicing

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You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
-1 Peter 1: 6-7

This verse has a hard sentence structure to follow. In fact, I had to reread it multiple times to make certain I was fully following the thought flow. I was caught up in the distress and trials that the verse mentions. And then it hit me all at once, the emphasis of this verse isn’t the hard times but the result of the hard times.

What was the last difficult situation you faced? Was it a personal decision? Or perhaps a conversation that forced you to confront a family member with some hard truth? What was the result of this hard time? Was it joy?

Because I don’t usually relate the word “rejoice” with my feelings toward hard times. Why does God allow us to face trials? Not because God abandoned us but so that we are that much more thankful when Jesus Christ returns.

Earth is not our forever home. We spend so much time decorating and getting comfortable on this sinking ground that we forget that truth. We are reminded by this verse that our genuine faith is more valuable than gold.

As we enter into the Day of Rest, let’s look around our lives and remember that earth isn’t our forever home.

Employees are not for Employers

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Is it five o’clock yet?

How many of us have found ourselves muttering that question during our workday? The clock ticks on, bringing with it another fresh wave of problems to solve. We spend 8 hours a day away from our homes and families and find ourselves asking, “Why?”

Titus 2:9-10 reads,

Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back or stealing, but demonstrating utter faithfulness, so that they  may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.

Okay, so “slaves” is too strong a word for our context today. I am not held against my will and I am properly compensated for my work. But the general idea of “slaves” here is “worker.”

What are we as workers supposed to be?

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A Fool’s Focus

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“What are some actions a person might do if they were living a selfish life?”

Without missing a beat, one of my middle school students answered, “Jesus! They would do what He did.”

Stunned and confused, I took a few seconds before replying, “Jesus was selfish?”

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