Month: December 2017

“Be prepared”

Do you know the Boy Scout motto? It’s, “Be prepared.” And it’s actually a good motto for all of us! It’s also the posture of a man we’re meeting in Luke chapter 2 this week on Discover the Word. Join us at the table and learn from Simeon how to be prepared and always hopeful! […]

What on Earth?

When Andrew Cheatle lost his cellphone at the beach, he thought it was gone forever. About a week later, however, fisherman Glen Kerley called him. He had pulled Cheatle’s phone, still functional after it dried, out of a 25-pound cod.

Life is full of odd stories, and we find more than a few of them in the Bible. One day tax collectors came to Peter demanding to know, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” (Matt. 17:24). Jesus turned the situation into a teaching moment. He wanted Peter to understand His role as king. Taxes weren’t collected from the children of…

What Do We Do Now With All Those Christmas Gifts?

Can you believe it? Christmas Day has come and gone—just like that. Over the last month or possibly just this past week, you probably spent a great deal of time writing Christmas cards

Experience peace despite our present circumstances!

We’re told that Christmas is the season to be jolly, but what if we’re dealing with deep disappointment and broken relationships? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll explore an aspect of the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2, to find how we can experience peace and contentment despite our present circumstances! Listen to Discover the […]

Traditions and Christmas

As you savor a candy cane this Christmas, say “Danka Schoen” to the Germans, for that confectionary treat was first created in Cologne. As you admire your poinsettia, say “gracias” to Mexico, where the plant originated. Say “merci beaucoup” to the French for the term noel, and give a “cheers” to the English for your mistletoe.

But as we enjoy our traditions and festivities of the Christmas season—customs that have been collected from around the world—let’s save our most sincere and heartfelt “thank you” for our good, merciful, and loving God. From Him came the reason for our Christmas celebration: the…

Hang On, Should Christians be Celebrating Christmas?

I don’t know about you, but when it gets this close to Christmas, I often look at the tinsel, the sparkling lights, and the crowded stores and wonder if I should be engaging in all the hype.

A Thrill of Hope

Reginald Fessenden had been working for years to achieve wireless radio communication. Other scientists found his ideas radical and unorthodox, and doubted he would succeed. But he claims that on December 24, 1906, he became the first person to ever play music over the radio.

Fessenden held a contract with a fruit company which had installed wireless systems on roughly a dozen boats to communicate about the harvesting and marketing of bananas. That Christmas Eve, Fessenden said that he told the wireless operators on board all ships to pay attention. At 9 o’clock they heard his voice.

He reportedly played a record…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the necessity of hope

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally hit cinemas, and it was well worth the wait. As the film begins, the malevolent First Order is on the verge of wiping out the Resistance forever.

God with Us

“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left . . .” These hymn lyrics, written by the fifth-century Celtic Christian St. Patrick, echo in my mind when I read Matthew’s account of Jesus’s birth. They feel like a warm embrace, reminding me that I’m never alone.

Matthew’s account tells us that God dwelling with His people is at the heart of Christmas. Quoting Isaiah’s prophecy of a child who would be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (Isa. 7:14), Matthew points to the…

How Excited Are You For Christmas?

Fairy lights. Pretty baubles. Marshmallows roasting over the fire. The fresh smell of pine trees.  Loved ones gathered around a table sharing stories and good food.

Have you allowed the true meaning of Christmas to impact your life?

I’d encourage you to get together with the Discover the Word team today. They have a question they’d like you to think about. Beyond the lights and the presents, when did the true meaning of Christmas impact your life? When did Christmas become Christmas for you? Has it? Well, join us to hear how “Christmas […]

Silent Night of the Soul

Long before Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber created the familiar carol “Silent Night,” Angelus Silesius had written:

Lo! in the silent night a child to God is born,

And all is brought again that ere was lost or lorn.

Could but thy soul, O man, become a silent night

God would be born in thee and set all things aright.

Silesius, a Polish monk, published the poem in 1657 in The Cherubic Pilgrim. During our church’s annual Christmas Eve service, the choir sang a beautiful rendition of the song titled “Could but Thy Soul Become a Silent Night.”

The twofold mystery of Christmas is that God became…

Choosing faith over fear

As the Christmas carol tells us, Christmas brings “tidings of comfort and joy”! But it’s safe to say that not everyone buys into the Savior in the manger. Today on Discover the Word, we turn our attention to one person in the Christmas story who saw Christmas as a threat. Yes, “Christmas Changes Everything,” but […]

Home for Christmas

Christmas 1982 found me on assignment in a place many of my friends couldn’t locate on a map. Trudging from my worksite back to my room, I braced against the chill wind blowing off the bleak Black Sea. I missed home.

When I arrived at my room, I opened the door to a magical moment. My artistic roommate had completed his latest project—a nineteen-inch ceramic Christmas tree that now illuminated our darkened room with sparkling dots of color. If only for a moment, I was home again!

As Jacob fled from his brother Esau, he found himself in a strange and lonely…

Seeing Christmas in a New Light

My all-time favorite occasion is Christmas. Why, you may ask? Well, which other occasion can match up to the myriad of activities?

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