Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No Ban on Christmas, Here

Every Christmas at our hospital, we have a door decorating contest. The theme this year: The Faces of Christmas. This theme was developed in a variety of ways. Some had Christ centered decorations. Others were more commercial. One was dedicated to members of the Armed Forces. A couple were covered with snowflakes, Santa Claus, and snowmen. It was interesting to see how different folks interpreted the theme.

First prize went to the dietary department. Simply decorated with a nativity scene and the words, "Jesus is the reason for the season. Keep Christ in Christmas." Second place went to the HIM bunch. The only words on their door were; "Merry Christmas" with a bold underline on Christ. The rest of the door was decorated with tiny mirrors attached with ribbons. This was to suggest that the faces of Christmas were the faces in the mirrors.

Another door was decorated like a package. The center of the bow was a large picture of the nativity scene. On the ribbon, both horizontal and vertical, they attached pictures of themselves and their families. It was a simple decoration but profound in meaning. Actually, I didn't get their intended meaning at first. Then they told everyone what it was all about.

The ribbon represented the cross. The pictures attached to the cross represented the faces of Christmas, because they were faces of those who had attached themselves to Christ. They received an honorable mention award.

I am thankful that I work in a place that still believes in keeping Christ in Christmas. I trust that you all had a Merry Christmas day and will continue to keep the spirit of Christmas all year through.

P.S. Not a one had pictures of the Grinch or Ebeneezer Scrooge. Both of which are Christmas success stories and could have easily took their place in the faces of Christmas contest.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Information Overload

"Information is everything." I have said that so many times in the past 3 weeks that most everything has lost significance and become just information. It is a true statement, particularly related to ads. But too much information can overload the brain. At least that is true as far as my brain is concerned. Really, there are times when I think I need to just "control, alt, delete" and reboot my brain.

Enough about me. I want to share a few links for on-line Bible study resources. (This is not a paid advertisement.) I have worked with it for a day or two and I really like it. It is similar to E-Sword, yet different. Both resources can be downloaded for free or you can order the CDs.

E-Sword has many add on features. Some are free and others can be bought. I am partial to it because it offers Strong's Numbers and definitions right with the text. This link will take you to Bible This site boasts of 45 Bible translations, a dozen or so commentaries, daily Bible reading helps, and maps of all kinds. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Bible News is a basic sort of search link, good for any link list. It offers search by word, reference, or topic. If you have been to my sidebar, you already know about Christ Notes . I think their widget is one of the best for blogs and such. And a final link that offers a world of Christian links;

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Flawed but Faithful

A man with many names. Remembered by the masses as the one who walked on water and sank. Remembered by others as the disciple who denied Christ 3 times in the same night. And still others recognize him as the center stage preacher of Pentecost.

Cephas/Kepha was Peter's Aramaic name meaning rock. Jesus gave him this name in John 1:42 translated into Greek as Petros.

James refered to Peter as Simeon (the Hebrew name for Simon) Acts 15:14

He was called Simon Peter in Mt. 16:16, Acts 10:18 refers to him as Simon known as Peter.

Some facts about Peter the disciple of Christ.

Historians tell us that he was crucified for the cause of Christ. Regardless of his faults and failures, he remained faithful to the end.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Psalm of the Shepherd

Who has not heard the 23rd Psalm? The only ones who haven't heard it are the ones who have never been exposed to the Gospel at all. It is probably the most familiar text of the Bible along with John 3:16. Even the un-churched have heard the Psalm of the Shepherd. It is a staple of funerals everywhere. Often Sunday School children memorize it before they enter elementary school. It is a simple chapter, yet so profound.

It is so familiar that I often take it for granted. When attending funerals, I often join the minister and softly quote it as he reads. It is ingrained in me. Seems like I memorized it when I was only 5 or 6. Learning it by heart came through years of repeated interaction with the verses. Sometimes it seems to be an "old hat" kind of thing and other times it is the best medicine. Nothing really comforts me more than knowing The Good Shepherd will take care of me all through this treacherous journey called life. And He will be there when it is time to step over the threshold and into everlasting life with Him.

Rather than continue with my observations of the chapter, I want to link you to some sermon notes that really spoke to me. Please take time to check them out and leave a comment or two. I'm sure the pastor would be encouraged by your visit.

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