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Showing posts from December, 2009

Thanksgiving @ Christmas

Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico. In 1828, the American ambassador to Mexico, Dr.Joel Poinsett, whose hobbies included botany, discovered the plant and sent samples home to the USA. According to Mexican tradition, a little girl wanted to bring a gift to Jesus on Christmas but could find only weeds. After bringing them to the church, the weeds bloomed-- guess what kind of flower they produced? So that's where poinsettias and Christmas first connected (thanks for the info, Mr. Internet).

I love the idea that at Christmas God can take a humble offering of love and transform it into something beautiful for all to enjoy. Our Sanctuary is decorated with many plants given in memory or honor of loved ones (thanks, Trudy!). While we spend so much time and effort at this time of year to buy presents for others, do we take time to consider the gift of love given by God to us each Christmas? What Gift Can We Bring is found in our United Methodist hymnal, #87. It's not a Christm…

Joy to the World!

The other day I pulled out my beloved study Bible to do some work on the message. I turned to the back, where Revelation is supposed to be, only to find it was missing. In fact, my New Testament ended with Jesus' appearance to Mary at the tomb-- the end of the Gospel of John. I suppose if the rest of the New Testament is lost, that's as good as any for a new, climatic ending! In a panic, I found the remainder of the New Testament with my other books. Now it's back where it belongs, but not permanently-- it could be lost at any time. This is very troubling to me, as I bought this Bible when I first began seminary in 1995. It has countless post-it notes, handwritten comments in the margins, and highlights. I treasure it.

This is not the first time this has happened. Ten years ago, when Christy and I served in England, the original binding of the Bible began to fall apart. I asked Ray, our church steward, if he could help-- he was a retired book publisher. He took m…

Let It Snow! Wishing You Enduring Joy!

In case you missed it, we had snow this week in Prosper. And it snowed in my hometown of Bay City last night. Everyone, here and there, including me, was so excited. Snow in Texas is almost as exciting as landing on the moon or discovering a great medical breakthrough. It is an event. At the dentist's office the other day, a woman from New Hampshire came in. The office staff was still going nuts about the snow. The woman was not so impressed.

I've had several conversations recently about the relationship between God and weather. Last week on Thanksgiving Day I was out delivering meals to the elderly with my home church. When I returned to home base, someone said, "We sure had great weather today! God is good!" I replied: "God is good, rain or shine, don't you think?" When snow fell this week, people praised God and enjoyed the beauty of the creation. And rightfully so. Then an unfortunate thing happened: the snow melted.

Now we had a decisio…

It's the Most Busiest Time of the Year!

This morning I've been at home with a sick kid-- Linus (pink eyes). While he's been running through the house playing (in the freezer, in the pantry, just about anywhere I do not need him to be), I've been planning worship services. Discerning where God is leading me as I make such preparations is always an interesting and surprising experience. Usually I plan series out months in advance. With the Revelation series, however, it has unfolded on a weekly basis-- much to the frustration of my fellow worship leaders! Maybe that's a good message for us consider as our calendars turn over into the month of December: leave a little room for God to surprise us in the midst of all the busy-ness we'll face over the next 3 1/2 weeks.

For example, take a look at my schedule over the next few weeks (this stuff is in addition to my regular stuff, like meetings and Bible study):
December 4: Christmas Party
December 5: Breakfast with Santa, followed by District Christmas Party
D…