Month: December 2012

31 Day Challenge

31 day Challenge

I debated and debated whether or not to do the Proverbs 31 day challenge again for the month of January.

The challenge is simple….

You are challenged to read a chapter of Proverbs every day for the month of January and I blog on our reading for that particular day. You either join the challenge or don’t it’s completely up to you.

I had decided not to do the challenge this year but today feel that I need it more now than ever.

Who doesn’t need to start out the year with some wisdom?

So we are going to do it…

Her are a few things to keep in mind.

1. The blog postings on the days scripture readings will be available sometime during the day. (They may not post early, it may be late in the day.)

2. If something strikes you from the passage, comment on the blog about it.  Even if it is just “The verse that stood out to me today was “______________”  It is great to see what verses stood out to other believers who are reading the same thing you’ve read that day.  So don’t be afraid to post.

3. Pray – for God to give you understanding and wisdom as you read.

I am looking forward to the next 31 days….

until then…

Rhythms of Christmas – 2

Luke 2:1-7

1

Rhythms

We hear the familiar sounds of the season no matter where we go.  Songs of Joy, of Peace and of Hope.  All designed to change our inward rhythm to be more festive in nature.

But the journey that lead up to the birth of Christ was anything but festive.

Joseph and Mary were going about their normal daily life when they received another message.  This time it wasn’t in a dream nor from the visitation of an Angel.  It was from a messenger sent from Caesar.  The message was clear, you must pack up and travel to your home town…

“we need to count you for tax purposes.”

Even though that “sounded like fun” (wink, wink)…

there was no maternity clause in the degree

So the Rhythm changed.

All of a sudden they needed to travel a great distance with someone who was great with child.  The trip its self probably started the labor pains. Her water probably broke on the way and labor pains increased the closer they got to Jerusalem.

No Epidural….

Natural Birth Only.

This of course is me imagining what it would be like to make that trip…

while one of you was with child and the other was just trying to make it better.

So it was a hard journey for them, filled with concern and anticipation of a birth…

one that at times may have seemed like it was going to happen on the side of the road…

and that would not have been safe.

But in the fullness of time, fulfilling prophecies from long ago. They made it to Bethlehem, the city of David, the place where King Jesus would be born.

And everything changed.

The rhythm went from hardship and concern to a flow of Joy and Excitement.  It went from fear to the feeling you have when you hold your child for the first time… a feeling that is indescribable.

A feeling that is second only to the experience of Jesus saving your soul when you accept Him

And that’s quite the Rhythm.

Rhythms of Christmas – 1

Luke 1:25-56

1

Rhythm

various in its existence

temporal in its placement

creator of experience

mover of feelings

Rhythm

It was probably an ordinary day for Mary. She was a faithful happy lady, engaged to be married to a faithful and happy man… life was good.  As she went about her normal daily tasks a visitor arrived  with a message that changed her life…

and ours.

A message that changed the rhythm of her day and sat in motion all sorts of rhythms for her future

Rythmns…

of rejection

of hiding

of ridicule

of the harshness of travel

of running for safety

of uncertainty

of joy

of hope

of wonder

of pondering

of value

of feeling blessed.

Unique Rhythms no one else has ever had

but Rhythms that were set in motion by God as she became one of the major themes in His song of redemption.

Rhythms that we still ponder, sing, read and think about today.

What an awesome thought… to have a visitor sent from God, with a message from God

A message that would not only change her very soul…

but has changed ours as well…

for those of us who still believe.

Tis the Season of Hustle and Bustle

Holiday_Safety_Preventing_Hazards_from_Christmas_Lights_and_7124547_460

There is a lot to do this Christmas season. I am not sure how each year… no matter how much you desire for things to be slower and you plan to not be as busy, you wind up being busy anyway.

Tis the Season of Hustle and Bustle

I would just like to stop and not have anything to do.

But that is not the way of things.

Christmas is a time of high expectations… yes you are expected to do certain things, certain traditions and be present at certain gatherings.

Expected

We don’t say it but we know…

We had better make sure we are at that party, at grandma’s house, or at the family Christmas gathering…

with presents.

its like an unofficial Decree.

and there is no Ceasar Augustus…

Speaking of him…

I am sure it wasn’t great timing “in those biblical days”  for anyone to have to drop what they were doing and go register. I am sure they had other things they needed to be doing…

an unexpected, expected trip just added to life’s normal hustle.

But the decree was the decree and you had better do as you were told…

it was expected.

So Mary and Joseph set out on their journey to Bethlehem.

The timing for the trip was not good, after all Mary was about to have a child and that meant extra work had to happen to get Mary ready for the journey.

It was its own “Hustle and Bustle” – the first “season” of it… if you will

Joseph had to figure out how to close up shop. He had to buy things for their journey, all the while wishing they could just stay home until the baby came.

We do not know if they knew why the events were unfolding as they were, or why all of a sudden they were exceptionally busy…

but this is what we do know in 2011…

the hand of God moving them into position for a huge time of rejoicing which included Shepherds, Wise-men and Heavenly Beings.

Yes, this was a key moment  that would accomplish what God had said He would do thousands of years before…

the “Promised Seed” was finally coming into the world.

It wasn’t time yet for Mary and Joesph to be less busy, to stop or stay put.

It was time for them to move into the first “season”

of “Hustle and Bustle”.

“Monday Mornings”

how-to-beat-monday-morning-blues-1024x597

Samuel (prophet of God in the Old Testament, gift from God to His mother, wise, blessed, and chosen to lead the Children of Isreal spiritually)

Had “Monday Mornings”

Just like other pastors…

or maybe worse.

He told and told and warned and warned and told and warned, the people again and again, it was not a good idea for them to have a king.

He told them it was not what God wanted for them.

But they didn’t listen…

and “thus” came Monday.

So God allowed them to have a king, and Samuel anointed  a man named Saul as the first king of Israel…

And Samuel was faithful in telling Saul what God wanted, what God desired for Him to do…

But Saul didn’t listen…

and then there was another…

Monday Morning.

So for all the pastors out there, who tell people what they need to hear, who push and plead for people to live differently, to take “these steps”, or do “these sorts of things” because this is what God desires…

that have told and told and warned and warned and told and warned them again and again, “the way you are going is not a good idea, you need to change and go in a different direction”…

and

they didn’t listen

and you find yourself having a

“Monday Morning”

wondering if you really should be a pastor,

be encouraged…

The great prophet Samuel had that sort of day too…

and the cool thing?

God never condemned Samuel for what the people he counseled choose to do…

and that is worth its weight in gold.

Its a thought that will get you through this…

Monday Morning.

Jesus Loves Me

jesus-loves-you

I am glad Jesus loves me

I am glad Jesus loves us

I am glad that Jesus loves…

though I do not understand completely…

His love

I am glad Jesus loves…

though I do not understand the overwhelming feeling of pain that seems to come with this life nor how pain can still exist in my heart when He lives there too.

I am glad Jesus loves…

even though sorrow pumps through my veins more then I believe it should especially when I realize He still loves me and has never stopped.

I am glad Jesus loves…

even though my worthiness to receive it is nonexistent but He gives it to me anyway.

I am glad Jesus loves…

even though I’m not good enough but He loves me anyway.

I am glad Jesus loves…

because when others do not think much of me He still does.

I am glad Jesus loves…

and I accept the position He has called me to and the situations He has placed me in. I know they are what is best for me even though it doesn’t seem that way. I accept them because…

Jesus loves me