On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my true friend gave to me...
An Opportunity to Welcome God into Our Work and Daily Lives...
A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT FOR THE DAYÖ"Christmas Thoughts"
"Itís sharing your gifts, not purchasing gifts;
Itís not wrapping presents, its being present
and wrapping your arms around the ones you love;
Itís not getting Christmas cards out on time,
Itís sending any card, anytime, at the right time;
Itís not having the biggest and best Christmas light display,
Itís displaying the Christ light that comes from your heart;
Itís not Santa coming down the chimney,
Itís Jesus coming down from heaven,
and giving us the gift of eternal life."
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY--"Recognizing God in Action"
ďIn January of 2007, The Washington Post videotaped the reactions of commuters at a D.C. Metro (subway) stop to the music of a violinist. The overwhelming majority of the 1000+ commuters were too busy to stop. A few did, briefly, and some of those threw a couple of bills into the violin case of the street performer. No big deal, just an ordinary day on the Metro. Except it wasn't an ordinary day.
The violinist wasn't just another street performer; he was Joshua Bell, one of the world's finest concert violinists, playing his multi-million dollar Stradivarius. Three days earlier he had filled Boston's Symphony Hall with people paying $100/seat to hear him play similar pieces.
The question the Post author and many others since have asked is simple: Have we been trained to recognize beauty outside the contexts we expect to encounter beauty? Or, to put it another way, can we recognize great music anywhere outside of a concert hall?
I'd ask the same of our people: Can we detect God only when God is surrounded by stained-glass windows and organ music? I'm afraid that we can't. Even more, I'm afraid that we preachers have contributed to this state of affairs. How often, that is, do we point to the everyday lives, occupations, and opportunities of our people as examples of God at work? Or are most of our examples things happening at the church?
David Miller, at the outset of his 2006 book God at Work, shares an exercise he regularly uses with groups of congregational leaders. "How many of you," he asks, "install Sunday School teachers at the beginning of a new program year." Almost all the hands go up. "And how many call the youth group and their advisors forward for prayers during worship before they leave for a mission trip." Again, most hands are in the air. "And how many," he continues, "early in April have all the Certified Public Accounts stand for prayers during the busiest time of their year." Typically, no hands remain.
Miller's point is that through this and a thousand other ways we unintentionally signal that the primary place our people can expect to see God is at church...and often only at church.
ÖNo, the church this Christmas is unleashed anywhere you are serving in His name.
By David Lose, workingpreacher.org (Contributed by Pastor Craig Beeker, New Hope Lutheran Church)
YOUR MIRTHFUL MOMENT OF THE DAY...
A couple were Christmas shopping. The shopping center was packed, and as the wife walked through one of the malls she was surprised when she looked around to find that her husband was nowhere to be seen.
She was quite upset because they had a lot to do and so she became so worried that she called him on her mobile phone to ask him where he was.
In a quiet voice he said, "Do you remember the jewelers we went into about five years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we couldn't afford, and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"
The wife choked up and started to cry and said, "Yes, I do remember that shop."
He replied, "Well, I'm in the pub next door."
Compliments of Dr. Ann Kleine-Kracht, WEEKS OF FUN #902, December 15, 2010
YOUR YOUTUBE CHRISTMAS MOMENT
By popular demand and no resistance from me, weíre bringing back Celtic Thunder singing "Hallelujah". Enjoy this powerful new Christmas classic!
You can find the archived messages from this yearís series on my website at http://terrypaulson.com/christmas.shtml/.More tomorrow...as we prepare for His coming!
Your Host for this Year's Journey....