Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas not over yet.....

We spent a week in Alabama with my in-laws for the first part of Christmas. Now we will have the second part of Christmas when my parents get here today. They have come from VA.

Since we just got back yesterday they spent last night with my aunt and are coming over here today. They will be with me until New Year's Eve Morning.

Christmas is about seeing and spending time with people that we are not guaranteed to have next year. It is not about the presents. It is about thanking God for what He has done in our lives.

Did you know that if God never did another thing for you after giving you salvation that you should be grateful from now to eternity because we did not even deserve the gift of salvation?

Sad news today.....

I just found out today that Mr. Frank Capra Jr. died on the 19th of December. Many of you have heard of his father, Frank Capra responsible for the Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life." But you do not know of the work his son did. He was a great part of the NC film industry and owned Screen Gems Studio in Wilmington.

I met Mr. Capra Jr. a couple of times in the last couple years being semi-involved in independent film during my time at Craven Community College and then going to school in Wilmington. I do not know if Mr. Capra Jr. knew the Lord and that is why this is a sad day to me. He was always generous, polite, helpful, and an encourager to the film community in Wilmington but none of that means he knew Jesus as Savior.

God, make me a bolder witness for you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas and Busy Part 2.....

Now that we now busyness itself is not a sin we can breath a sigh of relief. However, our motivation for the busyness is what we need to evaluate.

The second thing I read today is from "Heart of an Artist" on prayer during times of busyness (italicized not in original text):

It would do us good to realize during the Christmas season that it shows in Scripture the busier Jesus became, the more time He spent in prayer. In the middle of a busy schedule He would often withdraw to pray, sometimes spending long hours into the night on His news. Listen to Henri Nouwen quote Mark 1:35 and then expound on it:

"In the morning, long before dawn, He got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there." In the middle of sentences loaded with action----healing suffering people, casting out devils, responding to impatient disciples, traveling from town to town and preaching from synagogue to synagogue we find these quiet words. "In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, went off to a lonely place and prayed there."
In the center of breathless activities we hear a restful breathing. Surrounded by hours of moving we find a moment of quiet stillness. In the heart of the much involvement there are words of withdrawal. In the dist of action there is contemplations. And after much togetherness there is solitude. The more I read this nearly silent sentence locked in between the loud words of action, the more I have the sense that the secret of Jesus' ministry is hidden in that lonely place where he went to pray, early in the morning, long before dawn.....It is in the lonely (quiet) place, where Jesus enters into intimacy with the Father, that His ministry is born."

So, as we are hustling and bustling during this Christmas season may these words of Mark 1:35 come back to mind and may we remember to take time to spend time with our true source of strength....Our Lord and Father. Maybe it may mean sitting in the parking lot in the car for five minutes before rushing to our next activity or event talking and listening to our Father. Maybe it means looking at our calendar with God's eyes and removing the things that don't bring Him glory.

Remember Nouwen's final statement (the one that really rung true with me) It is in the lonely place (quiet place), where Jesus enters into intimacy with the Father, that his ministry is born.

Christmas and Busy.....(Part 1)

Christmas and Busy seem like two words that are joined at the hip for most folks. During my devotion time this morning I read a couple good things....Here is the first for you:

The first is from the Max Lucado Inspirational Bible:

"Being busy is not a sin. Jesus was busy. Paul was busy. Nothing of significance is achieved without effort and hard work and weariness. That, in and of itself, is not a sin. Beut being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside---- that can not be pleasing to God. Remember this Christmas season....In the midst of your busyness, the Cross is still there. In the midst of your emptiness, the Cross is still there. The promises of Jesus still stand today. You can claim peace in the midst of a hectic life when Jesus is the focus." (Italics not in original)."

Our challenge then is to determine if our business this Christmas season is achieving something of significance or just filling up or time and leaving us empty.

Read Blog, "Christmas and Busy Part 2" for more......

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Up Later Than Need to Be...

I have a tendency to stay up late working on projects. I don't always do it on purpose. I will say to myself, "Bed by 1 and then not go to 2."