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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mary did you know?

Today is the last Sunday before Christmas and our thoughts are whirling with all the details to make it a special day. Friends, food and family make this a joyous time of year.
Yet 2000 years ago an angel visited a young woman who by social standings would have been regular and of no special worth. The angel had a very important message, Gods message. This young woman would be with child and even though she was engaged, she was a virgin. How politically incorrect, no bunking up together, no trial runs, she was indeed saving herself for a man by the name of Joseph. Joseph was a man of integrity and kept Mary a virgin until after the birth of this bundle of joy that we celebrate, Jesus.
As I have been preparing for Christmas eve service and Sunday services the past several weeks it has really been heavy on my heart the pressure Mary must have felt. Not only to tell her fiancé that she was pregnant with God, but her parents and friends. But even more importantly when Mary would ponder the writings of the Old Testament prophets about the life of the Messiah, did it really sink in this would be her son? Isaiah 53 would rip any parents heart out to think of such things happening to our children that we are to keep safe and protect. Everyday waking up wondering if this was the day my son would be led off and slaughtered.
Luke records the proud new parents going to the temple as the Levitical law demands to make sacrifice and during this time they encounter a man, Simeon who was told by God's Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Lords Christ. Anna the prophetess is the other one they meet who continually points people to the baby making known this is the promised one. But Simeon warns Mary that her son is "appointed" to the rise and fall of many. He goes on to say that not only that but Mary's own heart will be pierced, not literally but as she sees her son hanging on the cross, being pierced through for our transgressions. (IS 53)
Mary did you know your son was on loan?
Mary did you really understand what was coming?
Mary did you ever feel helpless to save your son?
Mary, through the death of your Son, you were saved!!
Listen, I don't mean to be a rock in your shoe, but recognize Christmas for what it is, a fulfilled promise of God from the book of Genesis that he will crush your head and you will bruise his heel, speaking of the battle between the Lord and Satan.
Merry Christmas and may God's blessing abound for you and your house this week.
At the manger

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just in time for Christmas

If your still wondering to get that hard to buy for person I've got an idea for you to consider.
I was recently sent a complimentary Chronological Life Application Study Bible from Tyndale House publishers for my review. The quality is exceptional and the first thing that caught my eye was how colorful the pages are. From all the maps, pictures, and time lines this Bible is a joy to use. In fact there are more maps in this Bible than any other Bible I have ever had.
Each page has a time period on it to explain where the pages text take place in the plan of God.
The Life Application Bibles are known for their notes and helps found for many verses, but this Bible is a study every time you read it. The application notes are relevant and intended to help you draw closer to the Lord through your study. The notes often contrast between the world and the faith. What the world expects, offers, demands is many times at odds with the teachings in scripture. Sometimes as we read we miss the point by looking for other details, the notes in this study Bible do a good job of directing your discovery. This Bible would make a wonderful addition to your study, but it would also be a gift that keeps on giving. So be sure to check it out and let me know what you thought.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

In the Secret Service

No I didn't spend time in the secret service, as far as you know, but I did just read a book I would call the top read of the year for me. I read a lot of books as a pastor but this one wins hands down. Jerry Parr with Carolyn Parr are the authors and although Jerry's claim to fame was the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, there is so much more. I am a slow reader but I finished this in just over two days. I couldn't put it down! From Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights tension, Kennedy's assassination, Watergate, Iran hostage situation and more, you are in the front seat with the secret service. It is as if you are right there with them, feeling the emotions and tension they felt. Jerry brings a personal side to these presidents, and high profile dignitaries and leaders that have been discussed, and are in our history books, but I guarantee nothing like in this book. Regardless of political affiliation they have one job, protecting the assigned person, at any cost. The agents mentioned in this book become family and we learn about the person behind the office. Honestly some for the good and some for the bad, everyone can have a bad day but some folks are just rotten regardless of status. You'll have to pick up a copy to find out what I mean. This book is well written, informative and well worth the read. I recommend this book to all ages.
Spoiler alert: Jerry and his wife retired and served with many ministries and missions. Jerry went back to school and received his masters of pastoral counseling from Loyola college, later being ordained.
Tyndale House publishers provided a complimentary copy for my review.
till next time, pick up a copy and let me know what you thought:-)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What difference does 700 years make?

King Ahaz found himself on the sharp side of the sword, when the king of Aram, (Syria), and the king of Israel decided to attack the southern kingdom of Judah. During this time the inhabitants of Judah were terrified, as you can imagine, as the enemy was within sight. During this time a prophet by the name of Isaiah was sent by God to speak to Ahaz. Ahaz wasn't the most upstanding king the nation had ever had. The prophet of God encouraged Ahaz these invaders would not overcome if he would believe. Unfortunately we see in chapter 7 of the book of Isaiah, Ahaz refuses when God asks him to ask for a sign. "I will not test the Lord" he proclaims. But God decides he will give him a sign anyway. Verse fourteen of the seventh chapter says the sign will be a virgin with child who will be called Immanuel. Now there are different variations and interpretations to this verse but clearly according to the gospel of Matthew chapter one, where Matthew quotes the Isaiah passage, Jesus was the infant that would come to the world. He would come in the lowliest of ways, almost insignificant, unnoticed, in a world watching Rome. Over 700 years between the prophecy and the fulfillment and it comes and goes with little to no recognition. An infant and not a political deliverer as the Jews expected. Ahaz missed the boat and met his Waterloo, so don't make the same mistake. A day is coming and will indeed be here sooner than we think when the world will once again receive the king. This time He will come to gather those who are his, those who have a proper understanding, and it will be followed up by a second coming where all of the world will be attentive because He will be here to set things straight. Merry Christmas.
Until the next time
may all the honor be His.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Godonomics book review

Well from time to time I read a book I need to pass along and Godonomics is one of them.

Godonomics  by Chad Hovind is more than just another book about economics.  It does a good job of walking the reader through the Biblical principles of God's design for economic systems. This book takes the time to explain some of the most common economic systems such as Socialism/Communism and shows why they will not work from a biblical and logical perspective. This book does not make economics a "political" issue and is not written in a way that bashes one side of the aisle. Instead, it is written clearly and matter-of-factly about why God's design for our economy is far superior than any other system that is being followed today. Truly an encouraging book about where our country could be as well as where we as individuals can be if we follow's God's economic system. Check out the authors website by clicking here. Or if you would like to take a look at chapter one click here. Either way you won't be disappointed. I received this book for free from, Blogging for Books, for this review.

Well worth the read!
Until next time