LAST WEEK (5)

DECEMBER 31

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A DAILY BLESSING

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him…. Psalms 84:12

 

In November, 2003, God brought us to Suffolk. We have been so blessed to be a part of this church family.  It has been an amazing journey as He has led us into a deeper relationship with Himself. It is easy to pastor people with a caring and giving heart. It is exciting to see what new ventures that God opens for us to serve him. Thanks to everyone who has dared to step out of their comfort zone to serve our Great God. From a youth ministry that was reaching over 60 low income and unwanted children and youth to a monthly luncheon for Seniors, the Suffolk congregation has stepped up to fill the needs of so many others. Covid has taken it’s toll on both of these ministries, yet we have adjusted to “social distancing”, parking lot church, and online services. Currently our Facebook LIVE Streaming on Sunday morning is reaching as many as 200 people in a week. It is a difficult decision to leave such a loving church, but I am as sure of God’s answer as I have ever been. It is time for new leadership at Radiant Life of Suffolk. And God has something new for me to venture into as well.

I believe that the word God gave us from Isaiah 60 that we are to be a Radiant life that will draw men and women from all around us to His Glory and Presence.

This will not be an end, but a fresh new beginning for the future of this body of believers.

This will be my final “Daily Blessing” post from Radiant Life Ministries.  Not sure what His next step for me will be, but I am blindly following wherever He leads me.

Thank you for your faithfulness, your comments and notes throughout these years of publishing. I pray God’s Riches Blessings upon you and yours in the days, months and years ahead.

Yesterday, my daughter told me that she just found a list of 200 people who are praying for me and my future. That humbles me beyond description. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.

GOD BLESS YOU EVERYONE!       

 

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

Editor Note: This is NOT true of me.

You Might be a Preacher if….

* You’ve ever dreamed you were preaching only to awaken and discover you were

* You’ve ever wondered why people couldn’t die at more appropriate times

* You’re leading the church into the 21st century, but you don’t know what you’re preaching on Sunday

* A church picnic is no picnic

* You’ve ever spoken for free and were worth every penny

* It’s Sunday, but Monday’s coming!

* You wonder why the tax seminar leader didn’t open with prayer

* Instead of getting “ticked off,” you get “grieved in your spirit.”

* You’ve ever been tempted to take an offering at a family reunion

* You’d rather talk to people with every head bowed and every eye closed

* You’ve ever wanted to “lay hands” on a deacon’s neck or punch out a council member.

* You hesitate to tell people what you do for a living.

* You ever talked to a person who was sitting on a bedpan.

* You find yourself counting people at a sports event.

* You received an anonymous U-Haul gift certificate.

 



LAST WEEK (4)

DECEMBER 30

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A DAILY BLESSING

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him…. Psalms 84:12

Carry me Back to Ole Virginny

It was December 1972 when we made the move to Hopewell, Virginia. My first “full-time” pastorate. The congregation of about 30 people at the time, were more than generous to help raise that salary so that I could give all my time to the church. The seven years we were there, saw God’s Grace and anointing to flow through us there. I just said goodbye to a long time friend, golfing companion and spiritual mentor from that church. Can I say that for a young, young preacher to be able to preach to Bishop J.A. Synan almost every Sunday Night was a very real blessing. We worked hard at the Bermuda Hundred P.H. Church, tearing down a barracks at Ft Lee, salvaging the material and building a two story education building there. Again, God proved Himself MORE than faithful I dug the foundation of that building with one 72 year old carpenter in the congregation. But before we could pour the concrete we had two revival meeting back to back. 7 men were saved during those two meetings, ALL of them in construction. They build that building working every Saturday for almost a year.

From there God sent us to North Carolina. The Calvary Church in Belvidere, N.C. it was a three year journey of healing for me and for the church. But God again proved Himself faithful. It was an amazing journey of faith for all of us back then.

When the conference board told me that I was moving to the Bellwood Church in Chesterfield, Va. I was not too sure of what was going to happen. It was the largest congregation I had ever tried to pastor. But never have I seen the Holy Spirit work through a congregation and pastor as we experienced there. 19 wonderful years of ministry there allowed us to purchase an indoor tennis court for a fraction of the value and today Thrive Church is doing an awesome job for the Kingdom. I remember at General Conference the year that Rev James Legget was elected General Superintendent of the denomination. In his opening message he said, in the coming years, we are going to see churches start in unusual buildings and there will be Revival in those places. Can I tell you I felt he was speaking directly at us.

After 19 years at Courts of Praise, I stepped out of the pastorage for a couple of years, landing a job in the finance department of the Salvation Army, Richmond Area Command. It looked like that was going to be my final work. BUT GOD . . .  always my favorite words.

We’ll visit the last page tomorrow.

 

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

The finalist has been named in the worldwide search for the perfect man. After careful consideration and endless debate, The Perfect Man has been named.

  1. POTATO HEAD

He’s tan.

He’s cute.

He knows the importance of accessorizing.

And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

 

WHY AGING ISN’T SO BAD:

Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

No one expects you to run into a burning building.

There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.

Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

 



LAST WEEK (3)

DECEMBER 29

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A DAILY BLESSING

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him…. Psalms 84:12

Our journey began In Oklahoma City at Southwestern College. Judy from California, I was from Virginia. I can’t say that it was “love at first sight”, but she did send chills down my spine the first time I met her. It was over a hundred degrees that day and as you already know, I complain a lot. So when I said it was unbearable hot, she put a handful of ice on my head. I bent over to brush the ice off my head, when she poured the rest of the cup of ice down my back.

Our first date was to a youth rally in downtown Oklahoma City. There was three couples in a Nash Rambler, clearly a violation of the “no touch” rule. But we behaved. When we got to the place that the driver took us, we started inside when Judy looked at me and said, “I can’t go in there.” I learned at that moment how sensitive she was to God’s Holy Spirit. So we turned and sat in the car just talking about the youth rally and her walk with God.

When God called me into the ministry, she was the most supportive of everyone I knew. She was more confident than I that God was moving in our lives. The Oklahoma Conference saw fit to award me a Minister’s License to preach. And after graduation, Dr W.R. Corvin asked me to consider working for the college in the finance department. It was a dream come true for me. Through a strange set of events, we were asked to be a part time pastor of a small interdenominational congregation in the Abel community of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Our daughter was a little over a year old and we traveled the 65 country miles each Sunday, preached Sunday morning, stayed with a family until evening service time, preached again that evening and came home after church, Every week we came home with a trunk full of fresh garden veggies.

Six months later, God dropped the bomb on us. And we left our home, friends and the college to move to Lincoln, Nebraska. A church of 8 people, working a full time job, our second daughter born in Lincoln, tested our faith and endurance. God gave us favor in all that we did there. I can truly say it was lessons that only God can teach. Time and space will not allow me to share the most amazing story of our time in Lincoln.

Then a phone call came from Rev. L.C. Synan, asking if I would be interested in return to my roots in Virginia. Again, God moved in a miraculous way to facilitate that move. And we were on our way to Virginia.

I’ll pick up on that tomorrow.  Right now it’s time for

 

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

Southern Baptist at the Race Track

Did you hear about the about the Southern Baptist who was in the habit of sneaking to the race track to bet on the horses?

One day he was losing badly when he saw a priest step onto the track, walk up to line-up and bless one of the horses on the forehead. The horse was a long shot, but the Southern Baptist thought, “With the priest’s blessing, surely this horse will win.” He placed a small bet and, sure enough, the horse came in first.

At the next race, the priest stepped onto the track and blessed another horse’s forehead. Even though this horse was also a long shot, the Southern Baptist was a little bolder this time and placed a larger bet on that horse. Again, it won.

A third time, the priest stepped onto the track and blessed a horse on the forehead. Like the others, this horse was also a long shot. The Southern Baptist placed an even larger bet this time and, sure enough the horse won.

This pattern continued throughout the day with the priest blessing the forehead of a long shot horse, the Southern Baptist placing larger and larger bets and the horse always winning.

At the last race of the day, the Southern Baptist thought, “I have got to go for broke here.” With great anticipation, he watched as the priest stepped onto the field one more time, walked up to the line-up and blessed the forehead, eyes, ears and hooves of one of the horses. The Southern Baptist ran to the ticket counter and bet all he had on that horse.

The horse came in dead last!

As he was walking out, he saw the priest. Walking up to him, he demanded, “What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they won, even though they were long shots. Then at the last race you blessed a horse, I bet everything and the horse lost.”

“That’s the problem with you Protestants,” said the priest. “You can’t tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Last Rites.”



LAST WEEK (2)

DECEMBER 28

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A DAILY BLESSING

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him…. Psalms 84:12

 

So someone asked me, How did you keep doing this all these year?  I simply stated that I am tenacious.

But here is the definition of tenacious.

If someone calls you tenacious you’re probably the kind of person who never gives up and never stops trying – someone who does whatever is required to accomplish a goal. You may also be very stubborn.

Yep that’s me. I’m still trying to do it right and too stubborn to stop until I do. Lol.

I guess that it keeps me alert to things around me, things that I read, that may help someone along their journey. And all of us need a laugh a day. . like Proverbs says, It is good medicine.

After 51 years of pastoral ministry, I am struggling to remember where I put my hat, and I’ve become so thankful for Alexa who always knows how to find my phone.  

I have often said, “I will never retire. I see how busy retirees are and I’ve got it made.” But if there is one truth I have learned about statements like that, it is “NEVER, say Never to God. He will make you eat those words.”  Lol.  But it is the time for me and time for the church I have served for these past 18 years to move onward. I do know that those friendships will never end. Judy and I have been blessed with hundreds of friendships across the nation and around the world. These in Suffolk, will all be added to our other friends.

It has been said, “Old preachers never die, they just ramble on, and on, and on, and on… and in closing. . . in closing. . . “

Someone else says “Old ministers never die, they just get put out to pastor. . . .”

I will miss all the involvement that ministry affords, but my plan is to stay active. I still enjoy my morning walks, I’ll finally start getting my monies worth at the YMCA, and without all those rich church fellowship dinners, maybe lose a few pounds to make my doctor happy.

I have learned that you are never alone when you walk with the Lord. So I will not be lonely, nor will I be in despair. God has always shown Himself Faithful and He will not stop because I am not pastoring. I know of few occupations that can testify of 51 blessed years of service. That has been my journey.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

Hymns for People Over 50

Give Me the Old Timers Religion

Precious Lord, Take My Hand, And Help Me Up

Just a Slower Walk with Thee

Go Tell It on the Mountain, But Speak Up

Nobody Knows the Trouble I Have Seeing

Guide Me O Thou Great Lord God, I’ve Forgotten Where I’ve Parked The Car

Count Your Many Birthdays, Count Them One By One

Blessed Insurance

It Is Well With My Soul, But My Knees Hurt



LAST WEEK (1)

DECEMBER 27

 

Today is the first day of the final week of publishing these short devotionals. I will be retiring from Radiant Life Ministries the first of the new year.

It began in the year 1998 when talking with a group of pastors, that they gave out all the time, but did not have anyone putting into their lives. It led me to start sharing some of the things that I was reading or that came across my path. It was long before FACEBOOK or any other Social Media. Anyone remember “You’ve Got Mail” from AOL. . . that is where it started.

It began with 12 pastors on a mailing list. To my amazement, I received so many requests to be put on the list. Requests came from as far away as South Africa, Europe, and across the entire United States. It grew to almost 250 emails a day going out from my first powerful computer with a 10 meg hard drive. The format was simple. An excerpt from a book I was reading, a thought that came to me that day but it always included a good “clean” bit of humor. Many pastors told me they began their church services with one of the jokes or “top ten lists” that they had received.

There was not an easy way to include graphics or pictures in those early emails, so someone taught me how to use the “sign of the fish” which we understood was a sign used in early Christendom as a place for Christians to meet.  So the head of each email had the tag:

<“}}}><\

A DAILY BLESSING

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him…. Psalms 84:12

Followed by the thought or devotion of the day.

Then came the second part.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

This came from an old monthly publication from the Pentecostal Holiness Church that I read when I was a teenager. It always had a short joke or item that would make you smile.

I felt we all need a smile.

Recently, it has been easy to share a devotional idea or article, but it has become much harder to find good “Clean” jokes.

 

Creation

An atheist scientist came to God and said, “We’ve figured out how to make a man without you.”

God said, “OK, let me see you do it.”

So the atheist bent down to the ground and scooped up a handful. But God stopped him and said, “Oh, no you don’t. Get your own dirt!”

 

God creates everything that begins. In some small way I pray that each of these posts have been a Blessing to you.



BLESSED CHRISTMAS

DECEMBER 24

WISHING YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY A VERY MERRY AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS DAY

As we stop to reflect on the true meaning of this blessed day, we realize that many are hurting due to sickness, or loss of a loved during this past year. But that is the reason that God Himself descended to earth, to give us the Hope and Peace that only comes from Him.

I am so thankful for a loving and caring family during this season and throughout the year. My biological family, Sister, Brother, Daughters and Son have been such a source of strength. But there is another family that rises to the occasion in so many ways – the church family – the family of God. Your encouragement and love has been shown in more ways than words can express. All I have to give back is a heartfelt “Thank You”.

In some way, I pray that the words I have shared, the humor that I sent, has been a help to your walk with God.

Next week I will be sharing some of the things that has made this part of my ministry a real joy. It will be the last week that my posts will come via the church webpages. On January 2, I will deliver my farewell and thank you sermon at Suffolk Pentecostal Holiness Church dba Radiant Life Ministries. 51 years of pastoral ministry in 6 different churches will come to a pause. I say Pause because I’ve learned to never say “Never” to God.

Thank you for all your comments and replies to these short devotions. You have kept me going for 23 years. I’ll share more next week. But until then. Truly it is time to worship the King of Glory. God Bless You.

          Pastor Don

 

I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her.  I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued.

At last she headed for the door, saying, “Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!”

 

A church was preparing for Christmas services.  The pastor decided he wanted a banner made for the entryway and had a parishioner call the banner company.

The parishioner told the man on the phone the message he wanted and the dimensions needed for the entryway.

The sign came back a few days later:  “Unto Mary Jesus was born, six feet long and two feet wide”.



GODS CALL TO YOU

DECEMBER 22

“Gabriel’s visit to Mary issued the heavenly Father’s invitation.  And the things the angel said were laden with hope for Mary’s world and for glory to fill the future.  Listen to these phrases because the things angels say give us a clue to God’s way of thinking when He calls us to His purposed plan for our lives.

  • He will be great. (Luke 1:32)
  • The Lord will give Him the throne. (Luke 1:32)
  • Of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)

I can’t urge you strong enough to let these words settle into your won soul because, like the Mary miracle, they also are a genre –  a “kind” of thing God does.  Although they were spoken of Jesus whom Mary would bear, the truer-than-ever truth today is that this same Jesus has come to dwell in us. And the purpose of His entry is not only to abide with us, but also to extend His kingdom through us.

So many dear believers only think of this “extending” in terms of religious duties, accepting Christian disciplines and trying harder to “be good.”  Thus, attempting to master our limitations and trying to cultivate self-discipline becomes a wearying effort at spiritual achievement.  But our Father’s plan is to birth Christ’s life in us, not demand His life from us.

I have an angelic “word” for you about this, the same one spoken by the shepherds: “Today a Savior is born to you.”  There’s a new life resource available for every new day, and a new challenge, too.  God wants to reveal His “surprise” workings at new dimensions of joy we couldn’t have thought possible.  Whether you’re seeking to respond to overcome an old problem that has caused stress for you, I invite you to “listen to the angels.”

This Mary-miracle approach to growth and victory isn’t painless or problem-free – having babies never is.  But it is alive and aglow, filled with joy, rather than with juggling the metallic pieces of a “Do-It-Yourself Christian Kit.” God’s surprise ways are superior to our best efforts at anything  – even trying to live for Him.  He is in the life-begetting, birthing business because it produces sons and daughters, not robots.

The Good News of the gospel doesn’t end with our new birth.  It continues by announcing the possibilities of periodic, additional surprise babes – birthing of blessing making possible new growth, and always through the power of new grace.  Such a life-flow to us, in us and through us changes things around us as we find:

  • Release from life’s most besetting sin, as habits are broken and forgiveness drives out our guilt;
  • Brightness shining in life’s darkest corners, as love beams in and drives out fear;
  • Provision unfolds for life’s deepest need, as God’s abundance drives out want;
  • Strength flows to focus on life’s weakest point, as divine enablement drives out failure;
  • Health springs forth at life’s sorest place, as the Healer Himself begins to drive out pain.

From “The Mary Miracle”, by Jack Hayford

 

 

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine… Prov. 17:22

Here are some mixed up Christmas titles: Can you figure them out?

  1. Approach, Everyone Who Is Steadfast
  2. Are You Experiencing Parallel Auditory Input?
  3. Celestial Messengers From Splendid Empires
  4. Creator Grant You Cheerful Thoughts, Noble Sirs
  5. Delighted Days Off
  6. Ecstasy Toward The Orb
  7. Embellish The Corridors
  8. The Event Occurred At One Minute After 11:59 PM-Visibility Unlimited
  9. Hail Nativity Conifer
  10. Hey, Minuscule Urban Area Southwest Of Jerusalem
  11. I Auditorily Perceived Clapper Containers At The Peak Of The Yuletide Season
  12. I Observed A Trio Of Vessels Returning From Yachting
  13. Listen! The Foretelling Spirits Harmonize
  14. A Melodic Composition Reverberates Through The Atmosphere
  15. Musical Clanging Objects Composed Of A White Malleable Element
  16. Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer
  17. Ovine Caretakers Supervised Their Charges In The Period Past Twilight
  18. The Primary Carol
  19. Proceed To Broadcast This From A Much Higher Elevation
  20. Quiescent Nocturnal Period
  21. Removed In A Bovine Feeding Trough
  22. Seraphim We Aurally Detected In The Stratosphere
  23. The Slight Percussionist Lad
  24. Song Of Joy From Harmonic Hollow Metallic Devices
  25. What Offspring Abides Thus

 

Need some hints? Here are the real names of the titles listed above.

However,they are in alphabetical order, not in matching order.

 

  1. Angels From The Realms Of Glory
  2. Angels We Have Heard On High
  3. Away In A Manger
  4. Carol Of The Bells
  5. Deck The Halls
  6. Do You Hear What I Hear?
  7. The First Noel
  8. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  9. God Rest You Merry, Gentleman
  10. Happy Holidays
  11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  12. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  13. I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
  14. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  15. Joy To The World
  16. The Little Drummer Boy
  17. O Christmas Tree
  18. O Come, All Ye Faithful
  19. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
  20. Silent Night
  21. Silver Bells
  22. There’s A Song In The Air
  23. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  24. What Child Is This?
  25. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night


A LESSON IN PROCESS

December 21

Out of the Carpentry Shop                  By Max Lucado

The heavy door creaked on its hinges as he pushed it open.  With a few strides he crossed the silent shop and opened the wooden shutters to a square shaft of sunshine that pierced the darkness, painting a box of day light on the dirt floor.

He looked around the carpentry shop.  He stood for a moment in the refuge of the little room that housed so many sweet memories.  He balanced the hammer in his hand.  He ran his fingers across the sharp teeth of the saw.  He stroked the smoothly worn wood of the sawhorse.  He had come to say good-bye.

It was time for him to leave.  He had heard something that made him know it was time to go.  So he came one last time to smell the sawdust and lumber.

Life was peaceful here.  Life was so…safe.  Here he had spent countless hours of contentment.  On this dirt floor he had played as a toddler while his father worked.  Here Joseph had taught him how to grip a hammer.  And on this workbench he had built his first chair.

I wonder what he thought as he took one last look around the room. Perhaps he stood for a moment at the workbench looking at the tiny shadows cast by the chisel and shavings.  Perhaps he listened as voices from the past filled the air.

“Good job, Jesus.”

“Joseph, Jesus–come and eat!”

“Don’t worry, sir, we’ll get it finished on time.  I’ll get Jesus to help me.”

I wonder if he hesitated.  I wonder if his heart was torn. I wonder if he rolled a nail between his thumb and fingers, anticipating the pain.  It was in the carpentry shop that he must have given birth to his thoughts.  Here concepts and convictions were woven together to form the fabric of his ministry.

You can almost see the tools of his trade in his words as he spoke.  You can see the trueness of a plumb line as he called for moral standards. You can hear the whistle of the plane as he pleads for religion to shave away unnecessary traditions.  You can picture the snugness of a dovetail as he demands loyalty in relationships You can imagine him with a pencil and a ledger as he urges honesty. It was here that his human hands shaped the wood his divine hands had created.  And it was here that his body matured while his spirit waited for the right moment, the right day.

And now that day had arrived.  It must have been difficult to leave. After all, life as a carpenter hadn’t been bad.  It wasn’t bad at all.  Business was good.  The future was bright and his work was enjoyable.

In Nazareth he was known only as Jesus, the son of Joseph.  You can be sure he was respected in the community.  He was good with his hands.  He had many friends.  He was a favorite among the children.  He could tell a good joke and had a habit of filling the air with contagious laughter.

I wonder if he wanted to stay.  “I could do a good job here in Nazareth. Settle down.  Raise a family.  Be a civic leader.”

I wonder because I know he had already read the last chapter.  He knew that the feet that step out of the safe shadow of the carpentry shop would not rest until they had been pierced and placed on a Roman cross.

You see, he didn’t have to go.  He had a choice.  He could have stayed. He could have kept his mouth shut.  He could have ignored the call or at least postponed it.  And had he chosen to stay, who would’ve known?  Who would have blamed him?

He could have come back as a man in another era when society was not so volatile, when religion wasn’t so stale, when people would listen better. He could have come back when crosses were out of style, but his heart wouldn’t let him.

If there was hesitation on his part of humanity, it was overcome by the compassion of his divinity.  His divinity heard the voices.  His divinity heard the hopeless cries of the poor, the bitter accusations of the abandoned, the dangling despair of those who are trying to save themselves.

And his divinity saw the faces.  Some wrinkled.  Some weeping.  Some hidden behind veils.  Some obscured by fear.  Some earnest with searching.  Some blank with boredom.  From the face of Adam to the face of the infant born somewhere in the world as you read these words, he saw them all.

And you can be sure of one thing.  Among the voices that found their way into that carpentry shop in Nazareth was your voice.  Your silent prayers uttered on tearstained pillows were heard before they were said.  Your deepest questions about death and eternity were answered before they were asked. And your direst need, your need for a Savior, was met before you ever sinned.

And not only did he hear you, he saw you.  He saw your face aglow the hour you first knew him.  He saw your face in shame the hour you first fell. The same face that looked back at you from this mornings mirror, looked at him. And it was enough to kill him.

 He left because of you.  He laid his security down with his hammer.  He hung tranquility on the peg with his nail apron.  He closed the window shutters on the sunshine of his youth and locked the door on the comfort and ease of anonymity.

Since he could bear your sins more easily than he could bear the thought of your hopelessness, he chose to leave.

It wasn’t easy.  But then ‘Leaving the carpentry shop never has been’!

 

 

A little boy returned from Sunday School with a new perspective on the Christmas story. He had learned all about the Wise Men from the East who brought gifts to the Baby Jesus. He was so excited he just had to tell his parents:

“I learned in Sunday School today all about the very first Christmas! There wasn’t a Santa Claus way back then, so these three skinny guys on camels had to deliver all the toys! And Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with his nose so bright wasn’t there yet, so they had to have this big spotlight in the sky to find their way around.”

 

What Do You Want For Chrismas?

   The department store Santa Claus was more than a trifle surprised when a beautiful young lady about twenty years old walked up and sat on his lap.

But Santa quickly recovered, and started talking to the college-type lass.

And what do you want for Christmas?” asked Santa.

“Something for my mother,” said the young lady.

“Well, that’s what I call thoughtful,” smiled Santa.  “What can I bring for your mother?”

After a moment’s thought, the girl brightened, turned to Santa, and said:        “I’d like for her to get a son-in-law.”



A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM

DECEMBER 20

GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS             Author Unknown

This is a first-person account from a mother about her family as they ate dinner on Christmas Day in a small restaurant many miles from their home.  Nancy, the mother, relates; We were the only family with children in the  restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly  eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He  pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin.

He wriggled and giggled with merriment. I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat, dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose, it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.” Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik. 

My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do ya know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a boo. Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence, all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s pick-me-up position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship.

Erik, in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain and hard labor-gently, so gently cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.” Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained 

stone. He pried Erik from his chest unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.” I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgement, a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking….”Are you willing to share your son for a moment?”, when HE shared His for an eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children”

 

 

 

 

A man, in to have a watch repaired, saw a friend buying a fancy pearl necklace.  The man asked, “A Christmas gift?”

The friend said, sighing, “No – a fight.”

 

 

And Another USPS Satisfied Customer, Hey Bob???

A Woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.   “What Denomination?” Asked the clerk. “Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?” said the woman.”                Well give me 50 Baptist and 50 Catholic.

 

A good sermon should have:            a good beginning                     and a good ending,

and they should be as close together as possible.

 



THE NIGHT JESUS CAME

DECEMBER 17

Thanks to Brenda Henderson for the following Christmas Poem

Twas’ the night Jesus came and all through the house, not a person was praying, not one in the house.

The Bible was left on the shelf without care, for no one thought Jesus would come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed, not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.

And Mom in the rocking chair with baby on her lap, was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.

When out of the east there rose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what’s the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and lifted the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

The light of His face made me cover my head, it was Jesus returning just like He’d said.

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which he held in his hand, was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as he searched for my name, when He said “it’s not here” I hung my head in shame.

The peoples whose names had been written with love, He gathered to take to his Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without sound, while all the others were left standing around.

I fell to my knees but it was too late, I’d waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight, Oh, if only I’d know that this was the night.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear, the coming of Jesus is now drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call, We’ll find out the Bible was true after all……..

 

 

My Friend Jan is on a well-known diet plan, and so far she’s lost $300.

 

A Russian couple was walking down the street in Moscow one night, when the man felt a drop hit his nose. “I think it’s raining” he said to his wife.

“No, that felt more like snow to me” she replied.

“No, I’m sure it was just rain” he said.

Well, as these things go, they were about to have a major argument about whether it was raining or snowing.  Just then, they saw a minor communist party official walking toward them.  “Let’s not fight about it”, the man said, “Let’s ask Comrade Rudolph whether it’s officially raining or snowing.”

As the official approached, the man said, “Tell us, Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing?”

“It’s raining, of course!” he replied, and walked on.

But the woman insisted: “I know that felt like snow!”

The man quietly replied: “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear…