Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wise Enough to Follow

There is a lot that we do not know about the wise men who came from the east to worship Jesus. Much of the story is a mystery that has been expanded upon through cultural studies and speculation.  Despite what our traditions and songs teach us we do not know the number of wise men who came, the country they came from, the mode of transportation or if the star guided them on the entire trip.  What we know is that they came from the east to find the Christ because they had seen “his star”.  After they spoke to Herod the star appeared again to guide them directly to the place Jesus was staying.  God used two means to guide them to Jesus.  He used the star that was a sign to them and then used scripture, through Herod. 

God used the star and his Word to guide them to the one who would become the light of the world. Jesus became to us the light that shows us the way to God.  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12).  And Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).  We must decide if we will accept the light or reject the light. The wise men followed the light all the way to Jesus.  All of scripture points us to Jesus.  But accepting that journey is in our hands.  Will you be wise and follow the light?

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet 
and a light to my path. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Slow Down and Look Around

The road construction crews have tried everything through the years to get people to slow down and pay attention when they are going through work zones.  The road construction on the Turner Turnpike has been one of the worst areas I’ve ever traveled through.  It is narrow in places and has tons of truck traffic.  The speed limit in places if 55 and it is not unusual to have people drive past me that are going over 70.  I see why if you’re trying to keep your employees safe you resort to all kinds of signs like “Beware, Walking Dead” or “Slow Down, My Daddy Works Here”.  My favorite is “$10,000 fine for hitting workers”.  Surely people really don’t value $10,000 more than someone’s life.  It is amazing the things that distract us from paying attention to the danger that is around us.  Smart phones have made it that much worse.  We need to slow down and look around.

We need to slow down and look around in every area of our life.  Our culture has become so busy that we run from place to place with our head down and a goal we are accomplishing.  Sitting and relaxing is not something we value in our society.  Who has time to sit on the porch and drink a cup of hot chocolate?  Who has time to stop and visit with friends that we randomly bump into while out shopping?  December seems to make it that much worse.  We pack so much into our crazy lives that the best we can hope for is surviving, much less actually enjoying it.

This curse affects us at church.  We hope that the events we have scheduled in our church for December are times for us to slow down and look around.  Our LifeGroup Christmas parties have that very goal in mind.  It is a great place to be with your friends and just enjoy being in each other’s company.  Every Sunday morning is designed to be a time for you to lay aside the burdens of life and just fellowship with your Savior.  Our candle light service on December 23 will be another laid back time for us to sing, fellowship and just stop.  We need each other.  We need friends.  In the midst of this busy time of year be sure to slow down and look around.  You may be missing something.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Coca-Cola Christmas

The international success of Coca-Cola is a phenomenon that started with a small entrepreneur in Atlanta selling an average of nine drinks a day the first year to over 1.9 billion drinks per day today with a market value of $180 billion.  This success was built upon marketing.  An advertising theme that started in 1929, “The Pause That Refreshes”, became the foundation for advertising ever since.  The idea of stopping and enjoying a Coke has served the company well.  They believe that they are selling so much more than just something to drink.  The company believes they are selling happiness. They have invested heavily in promoting the idea of happiness.  In 2009 their advertising campaign, “Open Happiness”, built upon this legacy. (

It is interesting that part of the success of Coca-Cola comes from selling happiness.  As Christians we understand that true happiness can only be found in Jesus Christ.  True happiness is not found pausing to take a drink of a Coke.  True happiness is found in pausing and trusting our Savior.  Pause, be still, and find peace in your life through Jesus Christ.  The things of this world are fleeting and always let us down, but the things of God are eternal.

We want to provide a time for you to pause this Christmas.  My family and I would like to invite you to our home Sunday evening, December 9, from 5-8 as we celebrate with a Coca-Cola themed Christmas.  This is our Christmas gift to our church family and friends.  It is come-and-go so even if you just have a couple of minutes stop by and have a Coke and some Christmas treats.  It is our prayer that you and your family find true happiness in Jesus Christ as you celebrate this Christmas season.

God Provides

God provides in many different ways. I have been reading Ezra as part of my daily devotional time.     Ezra leads the people of Israel out o...