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Showing posts from December, 2011

Entertaining Angels | Hebrews 13:1-2

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Welcome to Real Life.   A man once asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”  He basically replied, “Everyone.”  Anyone who shows mercy to someone in need is their neighbor.[1]

My father has lived in Slovakia, France, Brazil and America.  Yet, for a few years this world traveler was afraid to board an airplane.  One of those years, mom arrived alone at the airport for our Christmas visit.  Dad stayed home in Daytona Beach.
On New Year’s Day, she called my dad.   He told her this story: The afternoon of New Year’s Eve, my father had been out running errands and was waiting for a bus home.  Being a friendly guy, he struck up a conversation with a stranger at the bus stop.  The man had fallen on hard times.  He was homeless.   Since dad was on his own, he invited the stranger to have dinner with him.  They rode the bus home together and dad cooked his “whatever’s-in-the-fridge” goulash for supper.  After eating, they spent the evening watching TV.  Eventually, my father fell asleep on the couch.  …

He Will Be Called... Prince of Peace

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Welcome to Real Life.  Two thousand years ago, a child was born in a manger.  Angels heralded his birth proclaiming, “Peace on earth.”   Two thousand years later, I know that peace.


For to us a child is born...
And he will be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)


As a young woman, I fought God for years without realizing it.  I believed in him.  I went to church.   I thought that was good enough.  I lived life on my terms.  I knew who God was, but I didn’t know God.  He didn’t play a major role in my life.  I didn’t know he wanted to. 
At Christmas time, I sang carols without comprehending their meaning.  I adored the baby in the manger. Yet, I had no clue the incarnation[1] held a deeper meaning for me. Or, that one day the child in the manger would rock my world.  I was an observer at the birth of the Savior, not a participant.[2]


All that changed one Sunday in December many years ago.  I was invited to a church where I heard a messag…

His Name Shall Be Called... Mighty God

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Welcome to Real Life.  God ways are certainly not like our ways.  He chose to enter our world in the simplest and humblest of ways.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given
And the government shall be upon his shoulder
And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 
                                                                                 Isaiah 9:6

Seven hundred and fifty years before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that God would put on human flesh.  Almighty God, the One who spoke the world into existence,[1] entered our world in the lowliest way.  He arrived as a vulnerable, helpless infant.
Why did he come as a baby?  Why not an adult?  It was humiliating enough to accept the limitations of a human body, a body that becomes tired and hungry and dirty.  But God limited himself further by coming as a child.  Jesus had to learn and grow and submit to the authority of his parents.  For the omnipotent…

Whatever

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Welcome to Real Life. Language is alive, fluid, and flexible. The meanings of words often change with the culture. Sometimes, they change with the speaker.

Whatever, what-e-ver, whatevs, w.e. It’s the cynical sigh of our generation. It roughly translates: I could care less.

At times we hear the gracious whatever, as in: Whatever you would like, dear.  I gladly relinquish my right to decide.  I’d like you to be satisfied.
My friend Beth’s whatever captures a whole new meaning. It is her favorite prayer. “Whatever.”  She’s not being cynical or even gracious.  She’s being honest. Beth trusts God. She believes he loves her completely and knows what is best for her. When she prays “whatever” she is releasing her life, her desires, and her future to God. Her prayer is not naive. My friend has experienced abandonment, infidelity, abuse, chronic fatigue, anger, divorce and more. When she prays “Whatever, Lord,” she understands that it could mean pain, sadness, or loss.  She prays it anyway. For,…

A No Good, Very Bad Day

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Welcome to Real Life.  Some days are better than others. But, some days are just bad.

I woke up this morning feeling like something is wrong in my world.  I feel weak, small, and foolish. Besides that, I’m sure no one likes me.  Heck, I don’t even like me today.
Yet, I’m a Christian. I’ve been walking with Jesus a long time.  Shouldn’t I wake up every morning oozing love, joy, and peace?
Actually, something is wrong in my world – and it’s me.  I’m human, flawed, and frail.  Sin clings to me.  No matter how hard I try to shake it off, it sticks.[1]  In spite of this, Jesus loves me.  And he loves me just as I am.  In fact, I think he loves me even more on no good, very bad days.  (At least it feels that way comparatively, since I’m sure no one else loves me today.)
I don’t have to pull myself together for Jesus.  I can go to him in my miserable mood and pour my troubles at his feet. He listens. He’s always there. For, not only did he save my soul once and for all, he continues to save my …