Showing posts from December, 2011

A Time for New Beginnings

'Twas the week after Christmas, and all through my room, nothing would fit me, not even fruit of the loom. The cookies I'd nibble, the eggnog I'd taste, all the holiday parties had gone to my waist. When I got on the scales, there arose such a number! When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber). I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared; the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared. The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese and the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please." As I dressed myself in my old cardinal’s shirt and prepared once again to battle the dirt. I said to myself, as I only can, "You can't spend a winter dressed like a fan!" So away with the last of the sour cream dip, get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip. Every last bit of food that I like must be banished, until all the additional ounces have vanished. I won't have a cookie, not even a lick. I'll want only to chew on a lo…

The Advent of Christ: Then & Now-The Return of the King

The Advent of Christ Sermon Series has been about looking at what the arrival of Christ meant to the Hebrews and what the 2nd arrival of Christ means to you and me now. As we began to connect last night, when Christ came to Earth, he brought with him numerous gifts to mankind; hope, peace, joy, love and many others. The greatest gift of all though, was Him. His humanity and deity, all wrapped up into one, given into the world only to be taken out of it by a sacrifice. The little baby who came in innocent as a lamb, left innocent as a lamb, blood shed and body broken for us. Now, we await The Return of the King.

Our King, who ascended into heaven two millennia ago, will come again in the future to usher in an era of peace. The first time the Christ came as a child; an innocent tiny baby in the humblest of circumstances. When he left, he had been scorned, abandoned, shamed, crucified, died, yet still innocent. Claiming his victory over death, he rose again and then ascended into heave…

The Advent of Christ: Then & Now - True Love

By now, I pray that you are beginning to see how all of these themes tie together. Not one is independent of another. They are mutually dependent upon the relationship of the others. Love is the response of having something to hope in, by which we have peace and joy. Love however, contrary to popular belief, is not a feeling. Love is an action…it’s a verb.

All the time on TV and movies we hear the phrase, “Oh I think I am falling in love!” As we define it today, they are correct. A word better suited for that however is ‘infatuation’. Like this, most people think that the opposite of Love is Hate. Again, hate is not the opposite of Love; Apathy is the opposite of Love. Apathy is simply a lack of interest. You would just not care either way.

Probably the most famous set of verses on Love is 1 Corinthians 13. It spells out what love truly is. As I read verses 4-7, keep this idea of Love is an action in mind.

3 And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,

and if I give my body to be…

The Advent of Christ: Then & Now-Joy Comes from the Lord

This time of year it’s hard to go anywhere without hearing Christmas music. One particular song I hear is Joy to the World. When I hear that song sung, it always reminds me of Three Dog Night’s version of that song. Jeremiah was a bullfrog…was a good friend of mine…there’s just something about that song that’s catchy. I had never really thought about the words to the song very much until I got curious a year or two ago. So, I looked up the lyrics. When I did, I was a little surprised to say the least when I read what they were actually saying. Let’s just say they weren’t talking about anything that the Christmas song says. It’s highly inappropriate. However, the song is still catchy and it’s a fun tune to sing. But more than that, it speaks volumes to what we take in on a daily basis…what we allow our eyes and ears to witness. The type of joy that Three Dog Night talks about is the type of joy of the world.

Today, obviously, we are talking about Joy. Sometimes the joy we think we nee…

The Advent of Christ: Then & Now-Peace Promised, Given and Yet to Come.

Today we continue our trek on the Advent train with peace. In my own personal opinion, peace is so very hard to achieve. The reason it is so hard to achieve is because we always have some form of chaos in our lives. It seems that when one thing goes wrong, they all do! Chaos can come in many different forms: job, government, family, vehicles, pets, friends, schools…you name it, it can be chaotic. But in the midst of the chaos, we can have peace.

But what is peace? Why is it important? How do we achieve it? Webster’s defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet.” However, it can also mean “freedom from civil disturbances, a state of security, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions or even harmony in personal relations.” Peace is truly all of these. But it still leaves the question…what is peace? I mean true, real, lasting peace? This time of year, we talk about “Peace on Earth, good will toward men.” The word peace or the root of the word peace appears in the…