October 2021

All I Want for Christmas

The arrival of Christmas announces to the world again that God walked among men through the supernatural conception and virgin birth of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:23).

To me, the Advent season brings a celebration of both birth and rebirth. While I revel in the yearly yuletide spirit that Christmas brings, I rejoice daily in the hope and blessings that Christ’s birth has brought to me personally, for I have been born again!

Thanks Be to God!

Paul’s writings personify gratefulness. Thirty-four times he gives thanks or encourages others to be grateful. I learn from Paul some of the things for which I should be thankful.

Paul was ever grateful for the reality of personal salvation. It was difficult for him to understand how God could “enable,” that is, trust him with the glorious gospel. He marveled that he had “obtained mercy”; that God had saved him, the “chief” of sinners (I Timothy 1:11-17). He realized that in his case grace had been “exceeding abundant.”

Thanksgiving for Unpleasant Things

It is easy to thank God when we get what we want the way we want it. Those are the things we usually count, naming them one by one and being pleasantly surprised at what the Lord has done.

Counting blessings is good for anybody. No honest person could look these over and not thank God.

The trouble is that too often our thanksgiving stops there. Why not look a little deeper and take time to thank God for some of the things we tried to escape?

Our Daily Bread

It was a time of great discouragement. I was on maternity leave from my job, expecting our fourth child, and my husband was ill and temporarily out of work. With very little income, three small children in school, and mounting medical expenses, the unpaid bills had accumulated. More serious was the fact there was no food left in the house, except a small amount of ground beef and half a box of oatmeal.

“What are we going to do?” my husband asked.

The Church Remains

In 1995, a hurricane battered the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua. On Sunday morning following the hurricane, a congregation there, All Saints Church of the Nazarene, gathered for worship.
The congregation had to stand that morning. The pews were damaged, the roof was gone, and the wooden floor had buckled. Rosa Lee, the district superintendent and pastor at that time, stood before her congregation and said, "Brothers and sisters, our building is gone, but the Church remains."

What good news. The Church remains!