Joy to the World
Joy to the world the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing; ....
As we enter this joyous season, I think it is useful to consider the words of this famous Christmas carol. We wait in anticipation for a the coming King, not in dread of the loss of our way of life to an unseen enemy in a far off country. We wait with Joy for a King that first came in weakness as a baby, a King who will return in Power and Majesty. The King of kings who will wipe away every tear. We are to prepare our hearts for His return, and we are to do it in Joy and Love for our fellow man. There is no fear in Love. Against Love there can be no law. We are to be different, in Love, because He is different, in Love. Though I be a mere man, incapable of loving anyone, even myself. Yet I will love everyone, not with a love I do not have, but with the Love that God pours out on, over and through me to the world around me. A love that surpasses all understanding, a Love that flowing moment by moment from God alone, and Christ alone.
Rejoice, and let "Heaven and nature sing; And Heaven and nature sing; And Heaven, and Heaven and nature sing.".
Blessings - UCOA Message for November 19th, 2008
I have been participating in a lot of bike blessings this month, asking God to bless these in-animate objects we call motorcycles. I ask God to bless the person riding the motorcycle as well of course, but at least on the surface, we are asking God to bless an machine. So, why would God bless a piece of hardware, like a motorcycle? Well, in the Old Testament, in Exodus, God led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years, and during that time their clothes and shoes didn't wear out. They didn't even have to ask God to bless them, He just did. So, there has been at least one precedence set already, by God himself to bless these vehicles we calls motorcycles. Speaking of blessings, as we approach Thanksgiving, this is an appropriate time to remember all the blessing we have received this year. Blessings can be physical, like avoiding an accident, relational, like the wedding many of us attended here recently, financial, like having a job, or maybe just being able to put food on the table. And finally, blessings can be spiritual, like developing a deeper appreciation for who God is and what my part in this life is all about. As we consider our blessings, I would like each of you to know, that you have been a blessing to me this year, and I appreciate you.
President's Point - Step Up and Step Out
I have been putting off writing this article for a couple of weeks. I haven't been feeling too guilty, because I heard that Janice's (our editor) computer blew up, and we might not be having a November newsletter. Anyway, she got a new one, so I am getting off my (you know what) and getting moving.
Yesterday I received the CMA Heart Beat (our association's monthly magazine), and I read an article by Holly Ogden in the Fast Lane section. I am really glad I did, because it reminded me that God knows where I am, what I am going through, and that He desires to equip me to handle anything that is being thrown at me, and everything that is going to be thrown at me. Now to some of you that might seem obvious, but what really touched me was the way God did this. I will give you a brief overview. Holly's husband (John Ogden Jr.) went on a trip for a month, and Holly was feeling very alone. They had been apart before, but this time she was having a lot of trouble dealing with the separation. As the days went by, It seemed that she was being driven to retreat even further into isolation. At this point, God took steps to get her some help. He encouraged her to go to church Sunday and ask for prayer. I don't want to give away the entire story, so just let me say that she not only got the help she needed, but she was empowered and enabled to handle the future events that God already knew were coming. The important points that are revealed in this article, are that God required that Holly step out of her comfort zone to get help, and that God used other people to help her. Stepping out or our comfort zone gives us an important opportunity to grow in our trust in the Lord, so we can better understand that He is in control and can handle it. Finally, helping other people in need, strengthens our own relationship with God, and enables us to see how He works, and to experience the joy of being His tool in helping another person get through a difficult time. So, step out, and step up, the blessings far exceed the risk.
If you would like to read Holly's article, I have posted them below, just click on a page.