This is the day the Lord has given, let's make it the best it can be with His help. Amen.
Good morning and welcome one and all to our time together here at the ole blogger ranch. Why don't you mosey on over here, pull up a chair, I'll get you a cup of Community, and we'll spend a little time visiting? It's Thursday, December 10, 2015, and I am glad to report that it's a good day to look up and give God the glory for He and He alone is worthy. I read a news item this week about a fellow in Florida who was at a restaurant celebrating his 57th birthday. He chose their Bison steak. He got choked on the steak and despite the fact that one of those with him was a registered nurse they were not able to save him and he died. He was celebrating. One of his companions did say he was excitedly wolfing down that steak. Choked to death. On his birthday. Out having a good time. That was not at all what he or any of his companions had in mind. Life can be like that. It may not be something as tragic as that outcome but we do get ourselves all worked up based on our expectations and there are those times when reality crushes what we had in mind. This can lead to disappointment and frustration. I think maybe working on our expectations would be a good place to start. It reminds me of what the writer James said in the New Testament letter that bears his name, "Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil." (Chapter 4:13-16) I think that provides an excellent balance as we approach our day by day living. Amen.
I want to give a shout out to my sidekick and helpmate for more than 70% of my life, the Mrs. Claus, and wonder woman to all that know her, my wife. When we first started doing the Santa Enterprise stuff she wasn't sure if it was a good fit for her. But, the more that she made appearances it has been the more people have warmed up to her charm and grace. Many no doubt saw the photo I used today on Facebook. The one shot of us kissing was done at the birthday party for Jesus at our local fellowship. The first time I saw it I was immediately reminded of that 1963 photo where we are standing by the fence that leads to the garden at her parent's home, the parsonage where they were living. I actually knew where that photo was. I fetched it and scanned it in and then made a comparison collage. With her brother Milton still undergoing evaluation and with her sister Dorothy still recovering from her earlier health challenges she has had to be in many different places seemingly at the same time. Somehow she has maintained her ministry outreach efforts and I know how blessed I am to have her by my side. Some people think I am the real Santa. If I am I can assure you she is the real Mrs. Claus and so much more! I thank God for her. Amen.
I was going to say something about how that 'white haired lives matter' especially as it pertains to Santa and Mrs. Claus but I chose not to because some folks tend to be overly sensitive when I talk about that subject. One thing is clear. All lives matter to God and that's a fact my friend. He is the ultimate 'all of the above inclusive God' and I am so thankful that he doesn't look upon the physical externalities like so many do today. Some have proffered how the Apostle Paul may have suffered a physical ailment that distorted his facial features. Some believe this was his thorn in the flesh. There are a few references with regard to his personal features that were made fairly early on in the Christian era. One modern writer summed these up in this way: "His exterior did not correspond to the greatness of his soul. He was
ugly, short, stout, plump, of small head, bald, pale, his face covered
with a thick beard, an eagle nose, piercing eyes, dark eyebrows. His
speech, embarrassed, faulty, gave a poor idea of his eloquence." (Bible Hub Commentary) This is the man God chose to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles and to plant local assemblies everywhere he went. It reminds us of how those of this world view things versus how God sees them. I'm glad God chose Paul because eventually the Churches he was used to start sent folks out all over the world including places where my ancestors lived. And, the rest is history and I am thankful for it. Amen. .....More later.
Many years in this sojourn here on planet earth and I have the scars to prove it but I have been, am now, and will be blessed to have had the privilege of doing what little I've done to honor God and serve others.