"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.” (Luke 12:49-52)
‘Peace on Earth; Good Will to All.’ It’s the perfect holiday slogan: vague enough to avoid offending anyone and recently made gender neutral! Except that it’s not what Jesus came to bring. What the angels actually said was ‘peace on earth to men who have God’s good will,’ referring not to a lack of conflict in the world, but to an inner confidence in the hearts of all who trust that God will redeem His people and remake the world through the Savior, Jesus. That’s why, until recently, believers haven’t spent the days leading to Christmas getting nostalgic for idyllic years past, dreaming happy dreams of future possessions, or wishing wistfully that people could just get along. Instead, Christians observed Advent—a penitential season remembering why Jesus came: because our race has a long history of idolatry and conflict confirming our need for a Savior. Jesus Himself looked forward to kindling the final judgment because only then will we have worldwide peace and end the division of families over the questions posed by Christmas: who was Jesus, really, and why did He come?
“Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to suffer hell for us, so that we can experience heaven with Him. Kindle our hearts in this season with the inner peace that comes through confidence in You, and enable us to live thoughtful and hopeful lives, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Under the same management for 2000 years!
Cremation is your last chance for a smoking hot body!
Adam & Eve: the first to not read the Apple terms & conditions
Satan called—he wants his weather back!
Whoever stole our AC units keep one: it is hot where you are going!
With all this rain we need an ark. Fear not! (Wait for it…) We Noah guy!
If you are praying for snow please stop
Forgive your enemies—it messes with their heads
Love is grand; divorce is twenty grand
Be the kind of person your pet thinks you are
Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted
Honk if you love Jesus! Text while driving if you want to meet Him!
‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’ say a lot about anticipated traffic
Catch-up with Jesus, lettuce praise and relish Him, ‘cuz He loves me from my head to-ma-toes!
The Lord lead you to praise Him this week!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)
Giving thanks is the perfect antidote to the pervasive distress in our world. When we focus on what we want but don’t have (as in shopping lists) or on what we have but don’t want (as in added pounds) we only add to our stress. But when we focus on the freedom from want that we have because of God’s amazing grace and the future already ours because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we discover that we are wealthy beyond hope and loved beyond reason. What a blessing to live in a country with an official holiday dedicated to giving God thanks for such astounding blessings! I hope that you take full advantage of the gift you have been given in this holiday to praise God for His gifts. I guarantee that if you do, you will enjoy them more—and others will enjoy you more!
“Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing us with such a prosperous, peaceful, and free nation. Thank you for the opportunity we have to reflect on our blessings this weekend. Be present in all our gatherings, so that we might experience the grace You have so generously poured out on us and spread Your peace in a distressed world, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”
HORN OF PLENTY
A music student brought his French horn to an instrument shop for repair.
He complained that the instrument “felt stuffy” and he couldn’t blow air through it.
The technician knew it was not unusual to find partial blockages in brass instruments.
However, when the he tested the instrument, the horn was completely blocked.
After much probing and prodding, a small tangerine dropped out of the bell.
“Oh,” said the musician when he was handed the fruit.
Seeing the bewildered look on the technician’s face, he explained,
“My mom used the horn for a cornucopia in a Thanksgiving centerpiece.”
Records indicate the first Thanksgiving meal more likely included duck or goose than turkey.
A wild turkey, when scared, can run 20 mph--which may be the reason why.
If there were turkey, it was probably cooked by men, since only 5 women had survived the prior winter.
Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national symbol, claiming eagles had bad moral character.
After a stroll on the moon, the first meal Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin enjoyed was roast turkey.
The Lord bless your thanksgiving this week!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28 NIV)
It’s not all good. Although God made everything all good, His good gift of free will allowed our ancestors to choose what was not all good, the knowledge of good and evil, from which come diseases, disasters, death, cruelty, wickedness, and lost innocence: an inherited inability to be ‘all good.’ Yet Paul reassures us that God is in the redemption business: for those who love Him and are called to His purposes, God is able to bring good out of even the evils we experience, because He has redeemed us through the evil experienced by His Son, Jesus. Such is the comfort of the Christian faith, that God is all good, even when all else is not.
Heavenly Father, thank You for redeeming us and promising to redeem even the evils we experience, in Christ Jesus, amen.”
A visiting pastor was attending a men’s breakfast in Mississippi farm country.
He asked one of the impressive older farmers to say grace that morning.
After all were seated, the older farmer began------“Lord, I hate buttermilk.”
The Pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was going.
Then the farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”
Now the Pastor was worried, but without missing a beat, the farmer prayed on,
“And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw white flour.”
Just as the Pastor was ready to stand and stop everything, the farmer continued,
“But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em up, I do love fresh biscuits.
So, Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard,
when we just don’t understand what you are sayin' to us,
we just need to relax and wait ‘till You are done mixin’,
and probably it will be somethin' even better than biscuits. Amen."
The Lord grant you patience this week!
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:6-9)
Jesus did not die for good people. In fact, those who consider themselves to be good tend to miss the point of His suffering and reject His salvation. No, Jesus died for honest people—those who recognize that their instinctive ways of thinking, speaking, and acting disqualify them from fellowship with God, and who therefore rely on Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for their sins and provide reconciliation with the Father. Because He is faithful and just, God forgives the sins of those who confess them; and because they are grateful, those who are forgiven are in fellowship with each other and committed to following the example of Christ. They increasingly walk in the light of His goodness, not the dark of deceit.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us as we are, forgiving the sins we confess, and empowering us to walk in Your light. Enable us to always be honest about our sins and to turn back to You quickly, in Jesus, amen."
NEVER LIE TO YOUR MOTHER
A mother is invited to dinner with her son and his female roommate.
Watching the two interact, she wonders if they are more than roommates.
Reading his mom’s thoughts, the son pre-emptively volunteers,
“I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, we are just roommates.”
A week later, his roommate tells him, “I can’t find the silver serving plate.”
“It’s been missing since your mom ate with us. You don't think she took it, do you?”
He says, “Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure.”
He sits down and writes: “Dear Mom: My roommate and I are missing a silver plate.
I am not saying you took it, but it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.
If you happen to know where it is, please let me know. Love, your son.”
Several hours later, he receives a reply: “Dear Son: I am surprised your plate is missing.
I am not saying your roommate sleeps with you, but if she were sleeping in her bed,
she would have found the silver plate by now, under her pillow. Love, Mom.”
The LORD give you the honesty to seek and find His forgiveness! In Jesus,
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.