Friday, November 30, 2012

What Do I Know?

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 The Christmas Season no longer comes gently with a few glittery Christmas cards arriving from friends in the mail and a single strand of lights hung around the window. Starting right at the end of October, a bombardment of advertisement, projections of sales, Black Friday lines, and tremendous expectations proceed December 25th.  How much can we get, how quickly and for how much?  Just finishing Thanksgiving last week, I feel the pressure already to get my decorations out and deck the halls.

With one son in heaven and my other moved out this year, routines continue to change around the Holidays.  My extended family, nieces and nephews, all grown now, some married or in college, are making their own traditions.  Once again, the expectations swirl around in the hot chocolate of Christmas memories and there is so much I miss.

Christmas past remains magical, Christmas future, forever hopeful, but what of Christmas present?

Walking into an office supply store tonight, I  heard the music piped into the shopping experience.  Crooning a question, the question, Bing Crosby asked, “Do you know what I know?”  

Said the shepard boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know
(Do You Know What I Know)

In your palace warm mighty king
Do you know what I know
(Do You Know What I Know)
A child, a child
Shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
                                Let us bring him silver and gold

No matter how many things change, God remains the same.  I worship and celebrate Him this Christmas as the newborn God-man miracle. I worship and celebrate at Easter as the crucified and resurrected Victor over my sin. In every day in between, I worship Him as my Lord and Savior, the One who takes away my worldly disappointments and unfilled expectations and gives me in return a Season of Hope that never ends.

My Savior I pray, give me a heart of worship this season.  May my Christmas be a gentle chorus of angel songs and warm candlelight, mistletoe kisses and hugs from friends, sweet memories and joyful laughter, but mostly, may I promote your Hope in all my Holi-days.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beyond Game Day

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Cross-town showdown; the big game gathers fans around the living room, restaurants and of course, the stadium.  Everybody hopes "their" team comes out ahead, puts the most points on the board, entertains us with athletic ability. True fans follow their team weekly, probably possess season tickets and know the players and their stats well. They listen to talk radio and sport the team logo on accessories and coffee mugs.  We know where their loyalties lie.

"Bandwagoners, tail-gattors"...they show up for the food, the drink, the few hours of rambunctious cheering and screaming at the referees and coaches.  Some don't even know what the team record is or the benefit of watching a team's growth, adding up TD's and hoping for Heisman Trophy's. But they spout their strong opinions and emotion based grumbles when things don't quite go their way.  Spirits high for a few hours, who knows what team they will be cheering for next year.

Do you think "Christians" act like that?

Showing up to worship on Sunday, we cheer and sing for the Lord, partake in the social encouragement, and "feel like a winner". Then we pack up our stadium seats and head home.

Away from the cheering crowds, do we stay tuned-in to the play by play? Can it be said that no one knows which "team" we support for our lives do not display a winning attitude?  All the truth-based statistics seem unreliable and the communication with our "Coach"is held in disregard, a Coach who never takes off his headset. The team jersey lies at the bottom of the hamper.  Sometimes bandwagoners never really have a ticket into the stadium. Even though the "game plan" is highlighted in the Playbook, the plays fail to be studied and kept close to heart.

Lord, I know I am on a winning team. Help me to live victoriously every day and especially in all my side line moments.  It may take me several "downs" to move the ball, but I can be confident in Your Team, on the field and off. Amen.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Campaigning for Hope

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

The issues? 

You’ve lost your hope, your initiative--what gets you up every morning; purpose. Maybe you just never discovered it, recognized it.  

I promise to reveal your purpose, help you discover it, expound on it and bless you in and through it.

The deficit?

I promise to fill your empty hearts with the fullness of my grace and you will  just want to return the favor in My name, to others. That has a way of making us feel full, joy. 

Balance the budget?

I promise I can do a lot with a little, like a “mustard seed” little. Remember the 5 loaves and some fish? It’s all about faith, your faith. My grace is sufficient and my mercy is everlasting.

Health Care?

I promise eternal life. Sound good?

Foreign Affairs?

I promise peace. I am The sovereign God, the Light of the World. I so loved this world, that I came here to work stuff out, get back peace between you and Me and then let you give it to others. You just need to believe me, put me in your corner, spread the Word.  I have a super diplomat, the Holy Spirit.  His embassy?  Your soul!  

I am the Lord and I approved this message.  

Father, we look for strong leaders in our community, and in our Nation. With gratitude, I can say that America remains the greatest country and I am thankful for my freedoms. You, alone Lord, are my King.  Though others fail to deliver promises, Your love never fails. You recorded my citizenship in Heaven and in You Lord, I place my Hope. Amen.