Archive for November, 2012

Investing in Christmas, Day 1–First Things First

A young woman begins to sing on her cellphone. A mom grabs her son’s hand. Young people climb on the table, mouths’ wide with praise.

A flashmob singing The Hallelujah Chorus in the food court of the mall. Awesome.

Last night, after Tom strung the Christmas lights on the tree, I spent an hour or two in contemplation. It happens every Christmas. I think back to Christmases past, linger on Christmas present, and wonder about Christmas in the future.

As I did this, I listened to music. I cried. I worshiped. I wept.

Nicole Nordeman sang a song I’d never heard titled, “Legacy.” Beautiful. Meaningful.

What legacy have I left my children? What could I leave them in the future?

I came up with the idea of writing about “Investing in Christmas” for the 24 days before it actually arrives.

Think back. How many gifts do you remember? One, two, maybe three. How many do you still own? I’m having trouble thinking of any.

What I do remember are memories. My mom, dad, and I singing Christmas carols on the Salvation Army kettles on Christmas Eve. My dad shouting, “If you put money in the kettle, I’ll stop singing!” and then laughing hysterically.

Serving Christmas breakfast to truckers stuck in Decatur, Illinois on Christmas day.

Quiet moments by the fire reading the Christmas story and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Do you want to leave a legacy? Join me on my 24 Days of Investing in Christmas, will you?

Your first assignment? First things first. Worship.

Follow this link and adore the Christ-Child-King.

If you can worship God in the food court of a mall, you can worship Him anywhere.

I love you, friend.

Reading for today. Revelation 19:6-9:

“Praise the LORD! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”NLT

 

Recite Romans 2:9-11

How’s Recite Romans coming? Too much turkey to recite? Come on, get back into it, you can do it! Here’s my outline and my vlog.

Outline for Romans 2:9-11:

I. Tribulation and Distress

PRINCIPLE-WITHOUT CHRIST WE ARE DOOMED

II. Glory and Honor

PRINCIPLE-WITH CHRIST WE ARE SAVED

III. No Favoritism

PRINCIPLE-GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS

AIM-Make sure you are “good” by God’s standards and then do good.

SUBJECT SENTENCE-GOD WILL IMPARTIALLY JUDGE TOSE WHO DO EVIL AND GOOD.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYd7tSL4_bM[/youtube]

 

Recite Romans 2:1-8

So many times over these last few weeks, situations, people and the Lord have brought passages in Romans to my mind. It’s a privilege to memorize His Word. It is life to me. It is bread. It is spiritual food.

Today, I’m going to vlog about Romans 2:1-8. I’m changing my format a bit. I’m not going to worry about time and just talk to you like you were in my living room, sharing a cup of hot java. I’m not even going to change into my grown-up clothes. (Although I do have them and wear them when I speak in public.) Today, I have my dad’s old Grumpy shirt on. I’m just going to pretend when I stare into Siri’s face that it is your face, friend. (In my last vlog, I still had on my PJ’s and just put a shirt over it. So no more of that pretending:)

I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned, what I’m learning and what I hope to learn. So grab a cup of coffee, prop up your feet, and open your Bible to Romans 2.

Here’s my outline:

I. PRACTICE SAME THINGS VS. 1-3

PRINCIPLE-MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT GOD LOOKS AT THE HEART.

Application-Would you do a heart check-up with God?

II. PRESUME ON KINDNESS V. 4

PRINCIPLE-GOD’S KINDNESS TOWARD US SHOULD LEAD US TO OUR KNEES.

Application-Would you ask God to show you your sin? Would you look for a Bible study–not just a book study about the Bible, but a study that covers a book of the Bible?

III. PERSEVERE IN GOOD OR EVIL VS. 5-8

PRINCIPLE-GOD’S PERFECT JUDGMENT WILL COME

Application-Have you trusted Christ and His death alone for your salvation? If you’ve failed in one point of obeying the law, you’re guilty of all of it, according to James. Will you worship God in awesome fear, knowing that it is wise to do so?

AIM–ASK THE LORD TO EXAMINE YOUR HEART, AND FALL ON YOUR KNEES IN AWESOME FEAR, AND THANKFULNESS.

SUBJECT SENTENCE–GOD’S PERFECT JUDGMENT ON EVIL-DOERS AND KINDNESS TO RIGHTEOUS IS SURE.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESM2B27TKJ0[/youtube]

Recite Romans 1:24-32

Hey Guys! I’ve been behind in my vlogs, but this should take us through chapter 1 of Romans. It’s rich, isn’t it?

Here is my outline for the last section:

I. God gave them up to impurity. 24,25

Principle—Impurity results in idolatry.

Is there impurity in your life? How will you “kill” that?

II. God gave them up to dishonorable passions. 25, 26

Principle—Dishonorable passions result in perversion.

Are you compromising yourself in your thought life? Your entertainment?

III. God gave them up to debased minds.

Principle—Debased minds result in decadent sins.

Which sins are you most guilty of from this list? How about choosing a verse to combat it?

AIM-Ask the Lord to show you any idolatry in your life.

Subject Sentence-Impurity, dishonorable passions, and a debased mind results in false worship.

WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU WORSHIPING? FEAR GOD. WORSHIP ONLY HIM.

 

ASHA Mission Children

I gazed out my window at 30,000 feet. The sun rested gently on puffy clouds. Every once in a while, I’d get a glimpse of the earth.

As the flight progressed, it became dark. We approached the airport. Lights illuminated the land as far as I could see. Eventually, cars with bright headlights came into view.

I thought about how God looks down at His creation and we ignore Him.

Abraham didn’t. Hebrews 11:13-16 states:

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, the would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

By faith the patriarchs of old trusted God. Often, they didn’t see His Word fulfilled in their lifetime. And that pleased God.

I want to live a life of faith like that. Trusting. Believing. Doing.

Cause I’m banking on heaven.

I’d like to share a link with you today where believers are investing in heaven with a few children in India. It’s called ASHA Mission and now they even work with lepers. Please, go to their site, read it. Smile. Weep. Give. Pray.

Invest.

By the way, if you visit their site and post a comment on this post, I’ll put your name in a drawing for a $5 Starbucks card.

I’ve taken two people out for coffee this week. Win the card, then share it with someone who needs a coffee date.

Blessings, friend.

http://ashamission.com