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We can make modest progress through human effort, but only God can deliver true equity.We have a basketball hoop on a pole in our driveway. Our toddler cannot yet shoot or dribble, but he watches the big kids and chases the ball for great lengths of time. He tries to climb the pole to get closer to the net, and he waves his arms for someone to hold him up for a slam dunk.Fighting for justice in a broken world sometimes feels like trying to sink a goal that’s out of reach. We have different strategies for how to get there, and we may inch nearer to resolution as we flap our arms, but true justice—God’s justice, the kind of flourishing for all that we want so badly—resides at an impossible elevation.By our own strength, we cannot bring down God’s justice. Even Martin Luther King Jr., the giant of the American civil rights movement, understood this. His constant call was not for human force but for “unarmed truth and unconditional love [that] will have the final word in reality,” as he said when he accepted the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. All the way until his moving final speech in Memphis in 1968, in which he declared he’d “been to the mountaintop,” King seemed to know that justice would not come by his own efforts, but that God would ultimately prove his efforts worthwhile.King’s message was anything but passive. But his pursuit of justice in many ways mirrored the ministry of Jesus: It was more a descent than a climb.On their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, God’s people sang songs that included Psalm 120: “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace” (v. 6). It foreshadowed Jesus’ holy complaint in Luke 9:41, “How long shall I stay with you and put up with you?” Yet Jesus took on our hate, our pride, and ...Continue reading...
Today's category: SportsPsychologically Speaking The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental health and was giving an oral test. Speaking specifically about manic depression, she asked, "How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?" A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, "A basketball coach?"View hundreds more jokes online.Email this joke to a friend
Four Ways Christmas Is a Gift There have been years on which Christmas Eve was my best day of Christmas shopping—not because it was the best of several good days, but because it was my only day! Covid-19 put me a little ahead this year, because I purchased my gifts online.I love giving to Terrie, our children, and our grandchildren. But as we approach Christmas this week, I'm mindful of the fact that Christmas itself is a gift. Christmas is when we received Emmanuel—God with us!And with Jesus' very presence, He gives us gifts:1. He Saves UsThe ultimate gift of Christmas is salvation. It is the reason Jesus came—to die on the cross for our sins, in our place, and give us a relationship with God through Christ.Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.—2 Corinthians 9:15If you can rejoice in nothing else this season, you can rejoice in your Savior!If you have not yet received Christ as your Saviour, you can! (Click here to learn what the Bible says about how you can have a relationship with God.)2. He Understands UsWhen my son Larry was younger, I took him outside one day to teach him how to play basketball. I would shoot and show him the techniques, then hand him the ball. He was still young, and he struggled to get the ball to the rim. Finally, after I made another shot, Larry said, “Yeah, Dad, it's easy for you up there, but you don't know what it's like for me down here!”He had a good point.Sometimes we repeat Larry's words to our Heavenly Father. “God, it's easy for You to say what we should do and what we should be, but You don't know what these circumstances are like from down here!”Christmas proves otherwise.And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—John 1:14God does know what it is like for us down here. He came in person, wrapped in a tiny human body. He lived among us, experiencing human life from our perspective and through our limitations. He knows the trials we go through; He understands the pressures we feel. He is Emmanuel—God with us.Have you ever longed for someone who could understand how you feel? Someone who has experienced what you are going through?Jesus is that Someone.3. He Helps UsScenic Christmas cards and softly glowing lights seem to suggest that this is a season of perfect nostalgia—a time when everyone can rest and reflect in the midst of unified relationships as they make family memories. But reality says otherwise. Real people live lives fraught with loss, pain, and brokenness.That's why Jesus came.Jesus didn't come to a perfect world, and He wasn't born in a perfect setting. He came to a dark world—steeped in sin and riddled with discord and pain. He was born into abject poverty and grew up under the strain of political oppression. Christmas reminds us that this fallen world will never be perfect.Remember though—this is God. He didn't have to come. He didn't have to endure this. And He definitely didn't have to give His life for our sins.He chose to come. He chose to leave the splendor of Heaven to dwell amongst the squalor of men. He chose to live with us, to know us, to love us. He chose to die for us.And now, He reminds us that He stands ready to help us. Because He is Emmanuel—God with us—we never have to face another need alone. We have God on our side.What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?—Romans 8:31Christ's presence wasn't just for Mary and Joseph and the shepherds as they worshiped Him in the manger. It was for us, too. As the eternal God, Christ has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).4. He Changes UsThe presence of Christ in our lives is more than a stirring sentiment; it is a radical life change.From the moment Gabriel announced to Mary that she would carry the Christ child in her womb all the way to the piercing cry of a hungry newborn, Christ's presence changed life for everyone on that first Christmas.All throughout Christ's ministry, He changed lives. He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, words to the mute, strength to the lame, healing to the lepers, and even life to the dead. He fed the hungry and comforted the hurting. He taught words of life, and He lived with grace and compassion. He rebuked the proud and forgave the repentant. Everywhere Christ went, He brought change—not always change in circumstances but change in lives.Then He did the ultimate—He gave His life, bearing in His body the sins of all mankind. And when He rose from the dead three days later, He proved that He has the power to change lives to the fullest extent. When we trust Him as our Savior, receiving His gift of eternal life, He changes us—from the inside out.Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.—2 Corinthians 5:17But the change Christ's presence brings doesn't end at salvation. We have the opportunity to daily experience His changing presence in our lives. From the moment we trust Christ as our Saviour, His presence can begin to change us. He can change our fear to courage, our worry to trust, our pride to humility, our selfishness to love, our bitterness to forgiveness, and our despair to hope.These changes don't happen in an instant. That's why we need to rely on His presence daily. As we walk with Him and grow in Him, He changes us.Enjoy the GiftTake time to enjoy Christ's presence this Christmas.For many of us, it will be an unusual Christmas—perhaps a lonelier Christmas. But we have the gift of Jesus.Remember He is Emmanuel—God with us. He understands your needs. He even understands you. And He is a very present help.Christ's presence actually is a present. It is the reason that Christmas is a gift!
white-houseBy now I'm sure that you have heard all about our president's trip to London for the G20. Published reports have told us that the staff that made the trip was 500 strong. He took his own chef, specialized O-mobile, 200 secret service agents and several decoy helicopters. No wonder the rest of the world looks at spoiled Americans with disdain. Do you remember when then Democrat candidate Obama chastised the country for being comfortable? His exact words were, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times...and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK." We can't, but he can. Yes, he can! Yes, he can! Anyway, when you're the President of the United States of America, it is a different story. We can't do those things, but he can. According to David Axelrod, he keeps it so balmy in the Oval Office that he could grow orchids. He can transport all of his presidential toys across the Atlantic for a few meetings. He can bring along a personal assistant/brother-in-law/one-on-one basketball partner named Reggie Love to hand him a tic-tac when he needs one. He can park that 15,000 pound Cadillac, which has been described as a hardened missile silo on wheels, right in front of the garden entrance driveway at Buckingham Palace. His driver did just that upon he and Michelle's visit with the Queen. There was only one problem - the prince wanted to leave the Palace, so the Caddy had to go. I have to laugh so I don't cry. All we have seen from this administration in the first 70 days has been like amateur hour. They are coming off like complete buffoons every where they go. Clarke Griswold looks like Einstein in front our president right now. A few weeks ago he gave the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, a collection of cheesy DVDs that couldn't even be played across the pond. Then, Secretary of State Clinton gave the Russians a "re-set" button that really meant "overcharge." Where do they get their help? Circuit City? My nine year old armed with a Dell Mini and Google translation services would do better. Next, the Best Buy geek squad czar who recommends all these wonderful gifts must have just missed the cut to make the G20 because somebody decided to give the Queen an Ipod. Yes, of course, she already had one, but not one pre-loaded with can't-live-without Broadway show tunes and, you guessed it - legendary Obama speeches. Amazing! Priceless! Not even Stephen King could make up something so terrifying. I wonder how the First Lady even rides in that big limo between him and his ego. Since the inauguration, the markets have tanked. Unemployment is cresting 10 percent. Our currency is not worth the paper on which it is so rapidly being printed, and all I have heard from our distinguished leader is something like, "Hey, I didn't do it, Bush did." Classless, petty, and dangerous. By day he fires CEOs and by night he parties with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire. I'm sorry but I just expect more out of a president. I expect more maturity, more gravity. I expect fewer jokes on Letterman and less hypocrisy behind the Resolute Desk. Sadly, what can be expected from a one term Senator turned President? Presidential Karaoke is all I have seen thus far. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
May 25, 2009    Family Picnic–bring your picnic lunch (meat for the grill if you want) and be ready for a great time!  We will be having basketball, volleyball, bocce ball, croquet, ping-pong and balloon relays.  It will be fun for all! Next activities are in June… June 4–Ladies Bible Study, June 12-13–Men & Boys Campout, June 14–Promotion [...]
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