Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Very Lean Christmas

Early in our marriage the budget was tight, very tight. Christmas was coming and with it expenses that we did not have the income to sustain.We wanted to give the children a good Christmas experience and what was left in our gifts budget was not much. It was a painful thought to have a lean Christmas for our selves but that is what we faced.

After a long discussion we decided not to get wrappeable gifts for each other. Instead we would fill a Christmas stocking with small inexpensive items for each other. These items included each others favorite candies, little personal things and we would each make coupons good for personal service during the coming year. They included back rubs, foot massages and other special things.

It was ment to be for that year only but it became a tradition in our home that survives to this day. It is a great tradition the reminds us that giving in honor of the birth of Jesus does not have to put us in deep debt. I am working on my coupons tonight.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Prayer Times

There are some days that are filled with worries from the previous day and I wake up praying and go to bed that night praying. Other days are filled with bliss and I awake praying that the coffee is ready because I really don't have anything urgent to pray about. When all is well and life is good we tend to be less prayerful.

When my days flow nicely and all is well I have a great time to reflect on my blessings and say prayers of thankfulness. When I do that I become more aware of those who are not having a good day and lift up prayers of support. Wether I kneel in prayer seeking answers or in prayer of thinksgiving I am changed by my going to God with an open spirit.

Prayer changes everything in me and I see and act in a new light. I may get answers I need and I may become the answer to someone else's prayer of need. Giving to others in response to Christ is a great answer to my prayer of thanksgiving. Either way I need to pray every day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Stark Contrast

Christmas.time presents a stark contrast between A Christians Joy of giving to others in honor of Jesus' birth and the gross comercial hype and greed from companies that lust after every cent they can rangle out of our joyful desire. The constant balst from all media seems to leave the true Christmas message of salvation blowing like a straw in the wind.

Pastors do their best to remind their congregations of the “Reason for the Season” but often wonder if even that message gets through. I am confident that it does even if the barage of buy buy buy is constant through Christmas day. In the hearts of true believers on Christmas eve candles are lit and we sing silent night and peace wins out.

Yes we will buy buy buy but we will also know the joy Jesus in our hearts as we give each gift. Open your heart to the baby Jesus and all he did for us while He walked upon the earth.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A light in the Dark

Many years ago I was a Scout Master for our churches Boy Scout Troop. I loved the week-end hiking and camping trips in central Texas. Sometimes we would camp a mile from the place we had to park the church van and backpack to the camp site. All we had for the week-end camp was what we could carry with us. That included food, eating gear, and tents. The rest we had to get from the land such as fire wood, water, and sometimes extra shelter.

At night we did everything by the light of the camp fire or used a flashlight in the tent or on the way to the latrine. It is amazing how much light a small campfire can produce during the night far away from the city lights. In the darkness even a fire as small as one candle can be seen from a great distance.

I am reminded the the Gospel is God's light for our path in the darkness of a sinful world. We are sometims the living Gospel for others and our small light is enough to guide them through the darkness to the love of Christ and salvation. So let your light shine in the darkness.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Isaiah 9:6
The Prince of Peace

The Gospels are clear that Jesus teaches His disciples to be peace makers with teaching like turn the other cheek, go the second mile and give the shirt off your back. Being a peace maker is not an easy calling. Many people do not understand that vital Christian role and some of them even strike out at the peace maker. There are times when the other person prefers violence and becomes angry at your efforts to make peace.

During the civil rights clashes of the 1960's Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. took Jesus at His word and practice non-violence in confronting the evil of racial hatred. He was attacked by the raciest on both sides and was martyred for the cause. Yet his dream came to pass and this new generation is moving us forward to peace between people. We still have a long way to go but we are getting there day by day.

Today we celebrate Jesus as the Prince of Peace and we pray for peace. I pray that the day will come when the armed forces of every country will only be stationed within their own borders and that we will truly turn our swords in to plow shears.

In the name of the Prince of Peace - Pray for Peace and Make Peace!

Lord Jesus I have promised to follow you all the days of my life as your disciple. Send the Holy Spirit to guide me in the ways of you peace even in the presence of evil. AMEN
Pastor Larry Odom-Groh

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bill of Rights Day

Today we celebrate our "Bill of Rights" added to our Constitution 222 years ago today.

Some of us don' know what that means but the importance of the Bill of Rights can not be over stated.

To celebrate this day look of the bill of rights and study each one and consider what life is like with out them. There are places in this world where these rights do not exist. Get arrested in one of those countries and you will discover the difference.
Every American should take some time today to thank God that you have those rights.