Thoughts on Christmas

luke 2-10-11

Every year during this season we turn our thoughts to the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. We call it the Christmas season because it is the commemoration of the arrival of the Jewish Messiah, who is called "the Christ".  The word Christmas derives from the celebration of the Christ's Mass; so designated by the Roman Catholic Church around the 11th century. Christmas is often shortened to the abbreviation Xmas and much has been made of the perception that this seems to be an attempt to … [Read more...]

Small Beginnings – Part 2

Zechariah 4:8-10 (NLT) 8 Then another message came to me from the Lord: 9 “Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (Background: Zerubbabel - The leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of their return from captivity in Babylon. Zechariah - A … [Read more...]

Small Beginnings


Zechariah 4:1-10 (NLT) 1 Then the angel who had been talking with me returned and woke me, as though I had been asleep. 2 “What do you see now?” he asked. I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl of oil on top of it. Around the bowl are seven lamps, each having seven spouts with wicks. 3 And I see two olive trees, one on each side of the bowl. 4 Then I asked the angel, “What are these, my lord? What do they mean?” 5 “Don’t you know?” the angel asked. “No, my lord,” I … [Read more...]

The Gospel Is Simple

John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Andy Stanley paraphrases this passage like this: God loved God sent We believe We receive The key to this passage and, in fact, to all of scripture is that God took the initiative. God moved first and His first move … [Read more...]

Where Knowledge Begins

Psalms 119:66 66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. The New Testament gives us two overarching commands found in Matthew, chapter 22. Matthew 22:37-39 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Knowing these commands and applying the principles … [Read more...]


We all know the Bible is the story of God. It describes His attributes not only through explicit reference (i.e., Jesus said, "...“No one is good—except God alone.", and "God is love."), but also through historical accounts which demonstrate His love, compassion, power, knowledge, presence, greatness, etc.. We also know that the scriptures trace the origins and history of mankind, including God's decision to allow man to exercise free will and the consequence of man's decision to exercise … [Read more...]

Independence OR One Another – Part 2

Ephesians 5:18-20 filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.  Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Make music from your heart to the Lord." Sing from the exuberance of being a child of God. Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Sometimes doing what we don't WANT to do is part of what it means … [Read more...]

Independence OR One Another – Part 1

  Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and … [Read more...]



    Galatians 5:13-26 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is … [Read more...]

Grace and Mercy


Long ago I heard this distinction between grace and mercy: Grace is God giving us what we don't deserve. Mercy is God sparing us from what we do deserve. For many years this distinction has helped me when I was confused about how to respond to a specific situation or circumstance. It doesn't resolve every quandary about how we should act toward those around us, but it does help in assessing our role in ministering to one another. Today I read this quote from Philip Yancey; he … [Read more...]