Today Is Christmas At Our House

Today is Christmas at our house, well, kinda!  Our daughter Lauren will be working with the International Mission Board over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.  Because she will be leaving soon, I worked out a deal with Santa to come early at our house.  As I type, I’m looking at her full stocking hanging from the fireplace.

Please pray for Lauren as she travels and represents the Lord.  Pray for the children, youth, college students, and missionaries with whom she will be working.  Naturally, we will miss her this Christmas, but we’re happy she will be serving in this capacity.

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24:Jesus

One of the most popular television shows the last few years has been a show called 24. 24 is a drama presented in real time, with each season depicting a 24-hour period in the life of Jack Bauer who works with the U.S. government as it fights domestic threats.

In my new sermon series, 24:Jesus, we will use John’s account in chapters 13-19 to focus on the 24-hour period in the life of Jesus leading up to His death. In this series that begins March 1, we will deal with the following topics:

  • Greed
  • Arrogance
  • Heaven
  • Vineyards
  • Prayer
  • Death

If you have any suggestions for any of these sermons, I would certainly welcome them.

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The Real American Idol

american-idolThe last few seasons, my family and I have watched most episodes of American Idol. Being a musical family, we enjoy the time together listening to some excellent young musicians.

Ultimately, the American viewers determine who will be the “American Idol” by their votes. “Success” is defined as winning the show or at least releasing a hit song as a result of being on the show.

In America, there are many symbols of success. In golf, success is winning one of the major tournaments: The Masters, The U.S. Open, The British Open, or The P.G.A. In baseball, success is winning the World Series. In basketball, success is winning the NBA Championship. Our culture sometimes defines a successful person as the one with the corner office, the one with the good-looking spouse, the one with the expensive sports car, or the one with the huge house.

Have you ever thought about what success looks like in the Bible? In the 13th chapter of John, just hours before His crucifixion, Jesus gave the answer. Wanting to make a lasting impression on His disciples, Jesus provided them with a symbol of success:

The towel.

“….so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”  John 13:5-5

The towel represented service and service represented success. Although He was the leader and was in fact God, Jesus washed the feet of His followers. He performed the act of a household servant. Think about it, if HE served, we should serve. In explaining his actions, he told them:
 

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:15-17 (NIV) 
 

Late in life, Albert Einstein removed portraits of Newton and Maxwell from his wall and replaced them with portraits of Ghandi and Schweitzer. For Einstein, it was time to replace the image of success with the image of service. But Jesus went further by demonstrating that SUCCESS IS SERVICE! Reacting to the disciple’s obvious misconceptions about success, Jesus clearly told them:

“….whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV)

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Thanks Linus – Lest We Forget

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Dog Drives Van Into Coffee House

driving-dog3

All those who have teenage drivers in their home as we do, will understand why this Associated Press story from St. James, New York, caught my attention. I thought it was funny enough to pass along.

A dog left inside a running van put the vehicle in drive, causing it to crash into a Long Island coffee house. Suffolk County police said no one was injured in the incident, which damaged the glass window and some patio furniture at Cool Beanz coffee shop in St. James. Police said a 60-year-old Port Jefferson resident left the van running while he went into the shop. His dog, Bentley, somehow knocked the controls.

Do you have any funny driving stories you can tell? My daughter once drove her grandmother’s convertible into the side of the house. How about you?

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