Sunday, December 19, 2010
That means he took on flesh. He came in the form of something that could be seen by the human eye as well as touched by the human hand. Why did he do it, because that's what we needed. I’m reminded of the story of a small boy's voice that penetrated a thunderstorm one night. It came from the bedroom across the hall. "Daddy, I'm scared!" Out of his groggy, fuzzy sleep, he responded with, "Honey, don't be afraid, Daddy's right across the hall." After a very brief pause the little voice is heard again, "I'm still scared." Always quick with a spiritual insight he responds, "You don't need to be afraid. God is with you. God loves you." This time the pause is longer...but the voice returns, "I don't care about God, Daddy; I want someone with skin on!" Could it not be said that the logic used by the little child is precisely the reason for the Incarnation? After thousands of years of being unsuccessful in trying to convince his people he really loved them, our Creator realized that the best way to do it was to send "someone with skin on." What a way to demonstate love. What a way to calm our fear. What an amazing Christmas gift!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
*Automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their afternoon snacks.
*Husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
*Children who put away their things & clean up after themselves, they’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
*Teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
*Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.
While this is a humorous response, there are many things we could mention that create a spirit of gratitude. For instance with all the sin, stress, and loneliness in the world I am thankful for the mercy and forgiveness of God, for my health and sanity, and for my family and friends. These things foster within me a spirit of thanksgiving. What about you? I'm sure you could generate your own list that would far exceed mine. However, the important thing is not who has the longest or the best list. No, what matters most is that we have a list that we cite often so that our lives are never void of the spirit thanksgiving nor our lips a word of thanks.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for;
In spite of myself, my prayers were answered -
I am among all men most richly blest.
God in His infinite wisdom does answer. The thing I must remember is to the take what he gives me. Although it may not look like what I asked for, it will be exactly what I need.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
May God be with you and bless you
May you see your children's children,
May you be poor in misfortunes,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness,
From this day forward
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
PENIEL THE PLACE OF FREEDOM
Freedom has many attributes. Because of the sacrifice made by those who formulated the Declaration of Independence, we have freedom of choice, of speech, and of worship. While these are wonderful they are not the most important. As we find in Genesis 32: 24-31 the greatest freedom one can enjoy is freedom from self. Jacob had spent his life living in bondage. He was bound by a spirit of deceit which drove him to take advantage of those closest to him including his brother and his aged father.
When he came to the end of his road he found himself alone having an encounter with God. In this encounter he no doubt thought God wanted to talk to him about his unfortunate life. Let's talk about Laban and how he took advantage of me. Or better still let's talk about Esau and his desire to kill me. But I hear God say "No! This encounter is not about anyone else but you. Laban and Esau are not your problem, nor is anyone else. Your problem is you!" That most often is the case with all of us. Our biggest problem is ourselves. We need freedom from self. In this story we find out how we move from beyond ourselves to being what God wants us to be. The transition involves three steps: One: When we realize there are no other options. Jacob was at the end of the road. He could do nothing else to help himself. Two: When you're willing to be honest. Jacob had to admit who he was. He had to confess his name which meant deceiver-sup-planter. Three: When we are willing to pay the cost--the cost of being alone. When we are willing to say "God it's just you and me. Let's stay here until we work this thing out." The Bible says they wrestled. One often thinks of this as total blessing. But we cannot imagine the pain brought on by a dislocated hip. Yet this brought him to the point of crying out "I will not let you go until you bless me." This cry was not one of the desire to feel goose bumps. It was one to total dependency. He was saying "I cannot let you go because without your blessing I cannot make it."
What is the result of such an encounter? The closing picture is shown of Jacob walking in the sunrise limping. He is a new man with a new name. He has experienced freedom which is the potential for all who choose to visit Peniel the Place of Freedom.
Grace Point Bristol