Monday, December 23, 2013

A wonderful reading of the Christmas Story from Lifeway:

Merry Christmas from your NHBC family!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Prince of Peace in a World of Chaos

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  For, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people...."   Luke 2:10 (NIV)

The winter weather, snow, and cold has been nice for this southern boy who grew up wearing shorts and flip-flops through a good portion of the "winter months".

Yes, I enjoy the snow.  It's very awe inspiring when the world seems to stop and all is pure and untouched.  That is, until you have to get out in it and leave behind your cup of hot chocolate and warm blanket for a driveway that needs to be shoveled.  I've tried very hard to keep it snow free. Our driveway is rather steep, so it can get very slick.  But, unfortunately, our street isn't one that gets plowed by the city.  So, even if we get out of the driveway, we're probably still going to slide through the stop sign at the end of the street.  We've had to be very careful!

Speaking of sliding through things...sometimes, that's the way I feel about December all in all.  I mean, already it's December 9th, and I promise that I keep thinking that Thanksgiving was last Thursday!  Every year, I brace myself in November for the craziness of the month to follow.  Parties, shopping, musicals, travelling--there's so much to do and so little time to get it done!  Sometimes, it can be so much that I need to hear again the words the angel announced to the shepherds--"do not be afraid!".

The angel goes on to say, "...For, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."  I think it's rather ironic that we celebrate the season of great joy, hope, and peace with such stress, anixiety, and busy-ness.

A.W. Tozer is quoted as saying, "Christ came to bring peace and we celebrate his coming by making peace impossible for six weeks of each year."

And, we all chuckle as we read that; all the while, deep down inside, the majority of us yearn and long for the peace that has been promised.

But, that's the beauty of the promise.  Christ was born the Prince of Peace into a world of chaos.  And, sometimes, despite the intensity of the chaos around us during this season, we hear, once again those beautiful words of great hope fulfilled and breaking through, not unlike the angels piercing the darkness and revealing glory:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end."  Isaiah 9:6-7a  (NIV)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Living

Remember Thanksgiving? It was that holiday just a few days ago.... And now, we are headlong into the Christmas and New Year holidays. Well, actually some people headed that way before the turkey even had time to digest, but that's another topic!

I heard it said several times this year that thanksgiving was never meant to be limited to just one day, and how true that is. After all, God certainly doesn't confine His blessings into just one day. Everywhere we look EVERY minute of every day, He is providing us MULTITUDES of blessings...not just the job we wanted, physical healing, the birth of a baby, and so forth. He does it with the air we breathe, the smiles we see, the laughter we hear, the warmth of the sun, the rain for our land, and even the problems we encounter--because we know we are not going through it alone, He is with us every step of the way.

I'm challenging myself to be more diligent about thanksLIVING. And when you begin naming those blessings one by one, rather than in mass, you will truly be ASTOUNDED at what the Lord has done and continues to do each day.

          Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NIV)