Through the Lens of Gratitude or Ingratitude

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord…    (Hab. 3:17-18) Every year …

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A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.    (2 John 12) I once had a serious break with my daughter that was breaking my heart. …

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“Jamie, who are His People?”

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham….   (Mt. 1:1f) If Jesus had lived in the neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother would have been worried about me playing with Him.  She would have wanted me to shy away from Jesus because He came from …

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In the Manger with Jesus

And she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them at the inn.    (Lk. 2:7) I’d received a phone call from a distraught mother.  Her 30-something daughter had disappeared. The mother feared that her daughter—let me call her Abby—could have committed suicide. A …

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Jesus Born Again Anywhere

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Lk. 2:6-7) When my schedule permits, I visit some inmates in …

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The Real Hope of Bethlehem

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem… While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  (Luke 2:4,6) While visiting the Holy Land I was very excited to see Bethlehem—the place where Mary and Joseph traveled, where Mary gave …

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A Time and Place to Sing ‘Silent Night’

And the Word became flesh and lived among us… (Jn. 1:14) It was mid-December and my friends at the jail asked if I would bring them a Christmas songbook.  The following week I brought one with several choices.  They immediately began to argue over which one to sing first, until one guy said, “Stop wrangling.  …

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More Often Simply Laugh

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt!’    (Num. 14:1-2) This past year I attended a Christmas Eve service at the church I …

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What Jesus Knew

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (Jn. 8:6) The woman caught in adultery stands in the midst of the crowd ashamed of her actions and afraid for her life.  The Pharisees are feverishly using that woman to set up Jesus. Many of the townspeople are gathered around with great curiosity, some …

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Jesus, Our Good Shepherd, Finds You

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.” (Jn. 10:11) It was my first sermon. I was doing an internship after my first year in seminary, and one of our duties that summer was to lead a service at an assisted living home. When it was my turn, I choose to talk about Jesus the Good …

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