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For to us a child is born…

'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. ' Isaiah 9:6 https://my.bible.com/bible/111/ISA.9.6

'For to us a child is born…'.  What a sweet picture…a child…a newborn baby.  I love newborns.  I love holding them.  I love the way they smell…at least until the poop gets some stink to it.  I love how they are miniture versions of adults.  They simply amaze me.  But these words from the book of Isaiah are not meant to paint a sweet, gentle picture for us today.  
These words are words of power. This child wasn't just any ol' baby.  He was to be the Son of God. He was to become our redeemer…the spotless lamb of God who was to take away the sins of the world.  He would lay His life down and become sin so that we become the righteousness of God.
None of this couldn't…wouldn't…have happened if there was no child born to us…if …

5 Scary Words

"Here am I. Send me."
I'm not sure where a statement like that leads.  Well…I do.  I 've said it before.  But it has to be five of the scariest words ever spoken to the God of Creation.  But where does a statement like that lead?
Does it lead to people and places far from home? Sure!
Does it lead to inner city anywhere working with the less fortunate in potentially dangerous neighborhoods? Absolutely!
Does it lead to serving with two year olds, 4th-6th graders, or leading a Bible study group? Yes!
Does it lead to pain, persecution, and imprisonment? Maybe!
Does it lead to death? Possibly!
Does it matter?  
Did it matter to Isaiah when he uttered these very words to the Lord?  Don't think it did.  I believe Isaiah surrendered his life…all of it…because it's the thing to do when a person encounters the powerful presence of God…YHWH!  How could Isaiah NOT surrender his life after experiencing healing like he did.
And us…you?  What about you?  Have you uttered th…

Community and Growth

Last night our 242 Small Group met.  It's an eclectic group of couples that gather together every Wednesday night during the summer.  I look forward to meeting with them each week.

We begin every lesson with an ice-breaker question that get's everyone involved.  Usually, they're fun and insightful.  This week's question was a little different.  Last night's ice-breaker question was, In one word how would you describe your relationship with God today?  Here are a few of the responses:
Hungry LackingDistantThankfulTrustingBlessedThirstyPrioritizing These are courageous answers.  These are honest answers.  These are the answers of a group of people who have spent the summer getting to know one another and sharing life together.  
I was so blessed to hear our group's answers.  They not only represent our relationship with the LORD, but they showed us that not everyone is at the same place with God as everyone else.  We are all at different places on the relationshi…

Waiting

Waiting…one of the hardest things for me to do.  In fact, I despise waiting! Yet, Christ-followers are called to wait upon the Lord.  Wait for His plans. Wait for His timing. Wait. Wait. Wait.

It probably bothers me so much, because I'm  a control freak and so task oriented.  There!  I said it!!  My mantra is taken from Larry the Cable Guy, "Get 'er done!"  Make a plan, work the plan.  That's me.

Waiting requires me to trust…trust God. It forces me to trust in the Lord's promises, plans, timing, etc., not in my abilities or timing, or plans.  I get tired of waiting.  It wears me out and frustrates me! Can I get a witness!!!! Ok, maybe it's just me.

Waiting in the Lord, on the other hand, strengthens me.  It puts me under His authority and power.  It places my future into His hands.  It transforms worry into joy and chaos into peace (Phil 4:4-7).

This morning I am reminded that Jesus modeled waiting.  He trusted God.  He put His own life into the the hands…

Peace

This morning I was in my office with Chris Tomlin's You're a Good, Good Father playing in the background and my Bible open to Romans 1:18-20.  And I sat there…just sat there.  It was okay.  I was not hurried or feeling the need to rush into anything.  I was just soaking it in.  There was a great peace in that moment.  Honestly, I wished these moments came more often.

As I reflect on my time with the Father, I wonder if that's not what our time with Him is supposed to be like?  Peaceful, even in the midst of life, especially our hurried life.

What was playing and what I was reading really wasn't the focus.  That's just what I happen to be listening to and reading at the moment.  Then again, maybe they do have an impact.  I don't know.

Your thoughts?


Mike

Light Among Light?

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says, "You are the light of the world." 

In John 1:5, John writes,"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

I was thinking about being light and darkness this morning.  I wondered how many of us Christ-followers are more apt to be light among the light rather than light among the darkness?

I mean, it's soooo much easier to be a Christ-follower among other Christ-followers.  Isn't it?  When you think about it, you don't even have to be the brightest light in the room, there's no need.  If someone's light is brighter it will drown out your dim light.  Even a bunch of dim lights will appear to give off so much light there's no need for our light to shine any brighter.

Gotta admit, it's a much bigger risk to be light among the darkness of this world where the ruler of evil reigns.  Think about it, how many lost friends do you have at work…in your neighborhood…in the community?When was th…

Faith Heard Around the World

This Thursday (Jan 21) at 5:45 am our men's Bible study will kickoff a new study entitled Romans:  The Power to Change.  If you're a guy in the Wynne community you are invited to join us for breakfast and Bible study.  Yep, breakfast is your reward for getting up that early.

I'm reading ahead and was walking through chapter 1 when verse 8 kinda struck me:
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world."  Ok, you gotta understand that Paul is in Corinth about to head to Jerusalem and he has been hearing about the faith of the brothers and sisters living in polytheistic Rome.  They were living dependent upon God! Is that some of faith or what?

Man, that ain't my faith.  It's not being reported across the known world.  If I was honest, it's barely being reported outside of my home.

You see, I live in a pretty safe environment.  It doesn't cost me anything to say that I am a Christ-f…