Friday, December 23, 2016

His Birth and Ours

'Behold, the virgin shall...bear a Son, and they 
shall call His name Immanuel...God with us.' 
Matthew 1:23

'Jesus Christ is not a man becoming God, but 
God Incarnate--God coming into human flesh from 
outside it. HIs life is the highest and the holiest 
entering through the most humble of doors. Have 
allowed my personal human  life to become a 
"Bethlehem" for the Son of God?'  (OC)

Reader, We have had WINTER since the beginning
of December. Days of snow and ice, fog, and bitter
cold. Dark days, short days. I have always dreamed
about a white Christmas--without all the
inconveniences! You know, 'the horse knows the way
to carry the sleigh through white and drifting snow...
to grandmother's house we go.' Well, this grandmother
is hoping she can get to the airport on time, that the
planes will be flying, that there is still a warm sunny
spot in the country!

Having said all that, I realize that all of this is just
window dressing compared to our incomparable Jesus!
May you become 'His Bethlehem,' his resting place,
this Christmas season.

We do not know what 2017 holds, but we do know
Who holds the future.

See you in the New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Not My Own

'Do you not know are not your own?'
1 Corinthians 6:19

'The first thing God does is get us grounded on 
strong reality and truth. Why shouldn't we
experience heartbreak? Through those doorways
God is opening up ways of fellowship with His 
Son. If God can accomplish His purposes in this 
world through a broken heart, then why not
thank Him for breaking yours?'

Reader, this is a timely message for me. How
about you?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Joseph Poured a Cup of Wine

Yesterday I shared some about a bride and groom
whose lives were upended almost before the ink
was dry on the contract. Right after the signing,
Joseph poured a cup of wine for his bride which
sealed their marriage.

'And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks
he gave it to them saying, 'Drink of it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant which is 
poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I
tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the 
vine until that day when I drink it new with you in
my Father's kingdom.  (Matt 26:27-29)

Our groom also sealed His marriage with us by a
cup of wine passed to his disciples. The cup that he
called, 'my blood of the covenant poured out for
many for the forgiveness of sins.' Jesus went on to
say that he would not drink wine again until we, His
bride, are gathered to Him in His Father's kingdom,
for He will bring us to the Father's house. The more
you study the pattern of the Jewish wedding in the
time of Jesus, the more you will understand Who it
is that we wait for.

Reader, this very season of Christmas brings us to
the next big prophetic event, the snatching away of
the bride. Just as a Jewish man of old suddenly came
to the place of his beloved with lots of noise and the
blowing of horns to take her away, so we will hear
the trumpet and a call to come away! We are told to
comfort one another with these words. (1Thes 5:11)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mary and Joseph

One day a young man went to the house of his
beloved, carrying a marriage contract and a bottle
of wine. The father answered the knock and the
two sat down together. Joseph asked to marry the
man's daughter. The father called in his 14 year old
daughter to see if she was willing to become his
wife. Mary said 'yes' and the marriage contract was
signed. Joseph then poured a cup of wine and both
drank from the cup which signified that they were
now man and wife. They would not be together
again until the day that Joseph came to get his bride
to take her home to his house, usually one to two

There is so much to ponder here. We know the rest
of the story, but they had no idea just how much
their lives would change in that year of waiting:

A surprise visit from an angel; a 'be it unto me 
according to your word,' by a stunned Mary; 
a dream given to a devastated, distraught, 
overwhelmed groom--but did Joseph believe it 
to be real when the sun came up and everything 
looked normal?

This young couple went step by step. Mary left
to spend time with her previously infertile cousin
who was now very pregnant. What an encourage-
ment to both women. Mary then returned to the
village of Nazareth, with the shame of a growing
belly until the couple left for Bethlehem. How
many of her friends and family do you think really
believed that her pregnancy was supernatural????

Reader, I am somewhat overwhelmed by this story
and all the implications so easily passed over. I
would suggest that Mary carried the stigma of the
'unplanned' pregnancy all her life. Jesus was also
affected by their scorn as he grew up there.
Nazareth was the place where Jesus performed
few miracles 'because of their unbelief.'

I think it is a good thing to take some quiet moments
and think more deeply about the culture of that day
and what affect obedience had on one particular

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Trial of Faith

'If you have faith as a mustard seed...
nothing will be impossible for you.'
          Matthew 17:20

'Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary
discipline of life, because a great deal of what
we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result
of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is
faith in God coming against everything that
contradicts Him--a faith that says, 'I will remain
true to God's character whatever He may do.'

AMEN! So be it, Lord.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Desire, by CS Lewis

'If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the
world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that
I was made for another world. If none of my earthly
pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe
is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant
to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real
thing. If that be so, I must take care, on the one hand,
never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly
blessings, on the other hand, never to mistake them for
something else of which they are only a kind of copy,
or echo, or vestige. I must keep alive in myself the
desire for my true country, which I shall not find till
after death; I must never let it get snowed under or
turned aside: I must make it the main focus of life to
pass on to that country and to help others do the same.'
(CS Lewis Mere Christianity)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pleasing to Him

'Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
(Hebrews 11:6)

'Faith must be tested and tried before it becomes a
reality in your life so that no matter what happens,
the transforming power of God's providence
transforms perfect faith into reality. Faith is the
entire person in the right relationship with God
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.'

Thursday, December 8, 2016


'He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for
us, so that we might become the righteousness
of God.   (II Corinthians 5:21)

'Through identification with His death I can
be freed from sin, and have His very
righteousness imparted as a gift to me. The
teaching is not Christ for me unless I am
determined to have Christ formed in me.'

Reader, The Lord Jesus came to earth as a
babe in order to become sin so that we could
have His righteousness. Something to ponder
in this season of parties, food and fellowship. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Be It Unto Me

Several churches here in town have given up
members to form a choir just for this season.
We will sing on Sunday and both of us are
singing--tenor! One of the pieces is posted
below. We may not be this good, but we are
almost there! The cantata begins at 4PM at
the vendome. You are all welcome!

"And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the
Lord; be it unto me according to your word...'
Luke 1:38

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

By Faith Alone

...much more, having been reconciled,
we shall be saved through His life.
            Romans 5:10

When I turn to God and by belief accept what
God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the
Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right
relationship with God. And as a result of the
supernatural miracle of God's grace I stand
justified, not because I am sorry for my sin,
but because of what Jesus has done. 
(Oswald Chambers)

Reader, what Chambers is saying to the minds
of long ago, is that the death of Jesus paid for
our sins through the shedding of His blood and 
that the Cross of Christ puts us into fellowship 
with the living God. We can't work for it, we 
can only receive it as truth.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Fires in Israel, fires in Tennessee, fire in Oakland and
a 12 alarm fire in Cambridge. David Wilkerson wrote
a book many years ago that has the word 'Trumpet'
in the title. It was a warning call to America. The first
sentence reads, 'America will be destroyed by fire.' I
assumed it would be some kind of nuclear blast but
now I wonder... I came across a very interesting blog
and will post it below. For some it will be confusing,
but it is worth while to plow through and see where
MP is going with all the numbers.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Proper Perspective

"Thanks be to God who always
leads us in triumph in Christ."
(2 Cor 2:14)

'The proper perspective to maintain is that 
we are here for only one purpose--to be 
captives marching in the procession of 
Christ's triumphs. We are encompassed 
with the sweet aroma of Jesus, and where-
ever we go we are a wonderful refreshment
to God.' (Oswald Chambers)

Reader, we triumph only because we are
IN Christ Jesus. Glory!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

All Things Become New

A couple of days ago I went through eight scriptures
about the 'New YOU.' That was just the tip of the

Your old self was killed (crucified)
'We know that our old self was crucified with him
in order that the body of sin might be brought to
nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved 
to sin.' (Rom 6:6)

You are a new creation (even if you don't feel it
is so--or act like it)
'Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation.' (2 Cor 5:17)

You are justified and redeemed (already)
'And you are justified by his grace as a gift, 
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.'
(Rom 3:24)

You are accepted. (Have you not fought for this
all your life?)
'Therefore welcome one another as Christ has
welcomed you, for the glory of God.' (Rom 15:7)

You are a son and an heir.
'So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if 
son, then an heir through God' (Gal 4:7)

You are chosen, holy, blameless before God.
'Even as he chose us before the foundation of 
the world, that we should be holy and blameless 
before him.' (Eph 1:4)

Reader, If you are in Christ because you have
received the salvation that He has offered you,
then, all these things are yours, in Christ Jesus.
Pick one of these verses, write it out, look at the
context, mull it over. May God write it on your