Are you Insane?

the-myth-of-sisyphus-nicci-bedson
Thursday’s Thoughts from Pastor David

The last Thursday of 2016!
Here we go!!!

Has anyone ever accused you of being “insane”?!
Me too!

The definition of insanity has been described to me with these immortal words…
“Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” 

Such a strong definition reminds me of the Greek mythological figure named Sisyphus who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again, over and over and over again.

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Two Days Before Christmas

mary-and-joseph

The Thursday before Christmas…

Growing up I always had the impression Mary and Joseph were frantically searching for shelter in Bethlehem and at the last moment when Mary’s contractions were one minute apart, they found the stable and upon entering the stable Mary immediately gave birth while the cows lowed, the goats bleated and the sheep baaah’ed (is that even a word?).

Where such an idea found root and blossomed in my brain, only to bloom for the last 53 years is beyond my comprehension.

But, today I am trying out some new “mind-bending” techniques without the use of herbal, organic supplements (legal or otherwise!).

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The Empty Chair

emptychair

For my dear friends who are grieving the loss or the absence of a loved one this Christmas…

The Empty Chair

“The Empty Chair” sits vacant at every home this Christmas.
It sat there all alone in my house and it sits all alone in yours.
The difficult part about dealing with “The Empty Chair” is that it used to be filled…
Filled to overflowing perhaps…
Filled with sounds of laughter…
Filled with striking smiles and twinkling eyes…
Lips that curled a certain way right before busting out laughing and even crying…
Eyes that narrowed in keen observation, eyes that softened and moistened upon saying “good-bye”…
Eyes that lit up with a joy uncontainable upon seeing your face…

The Empty Chair used to be filled..
Filled with hands that you used to hold and stroke and hands that used to hold yours…
Hands that had wedding rings and diamond rings and mood rings and turquoise rings…
Hands that had dug in the dirt, changed the oil, baked the birthday cakes and
Hands that you just knew you would hold forever and ever…

The Empty Chair used to be filled…
Filled with a voice that was so unique you could pick it out as “that” one and only voice in a crowded mall.
The voice that made your heart sing every time that voice uttered your most precious name…
The voice that read you bedtime stories, Bible stories and the “funnies” on Sunday morning…
The voice that would command, direct, whisper and shout.

The Empty Chair used to be filled…
Filled with someone you loved or still love…
They are no longer at the table
Not necessarily because they don’t want to be..
They may just not be able…

The Empty Chair they used to fill is empty because…
They have passed away, never again to see you another day…
They have ventured off to another land, promising to one day return and hold your hand…
They are imprisoned either literally or figuratively which by either case hurts none the less…
They are hurt beyond compare and the only way they know to respond is to hurt you back by filling the empty chair with just “air.”
They might be on vacation and will return next year to fill The Empty Chair.

The Empty Chair used to be filled by…
Our husband, our wife, our granddad, our grandmother, our mother, our father, our son, our daughter, our significant other, our friend, our uncle or aunt, our brother or sister…

It is always this time of the year that The Empty Chair makes the loudest noise.
It’s Christmas and we celebrate with all the smiles and with all the joys.
And yet, The Empty Chair is not a seasonal chair…
It sits empty all year long right in front of you, right there.

It is with sadness and it is with glee that we celebrate and tolerate The Empty Chair.
The Empty Chair is a blessed curse,
Some days are better and some days are worse.
Our memories of those who once filled The Empty Chair fill our heart
Do not let the memories evaporate would be a good place to start.
Instead, take one step or more
And walk across the dining room or living room floor
And sit, sit tall or sink right in The Empty Chair
And absorb the spirit of the one who is no longer here and no longer there
And praise God above for the love you are able with family and friends to share
Because, one day your spirit will be all that is left to fill The Empty Chair…

 

Love came down…

love-came-down

Ten more days until Christmas!!

When was the last time you read the Christmas story from Luke’s perspective?
Well…

Here it is…

Luke 2  English Standard Version (ESV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

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Reason for the Season?

Reason for the season

Reason for the Season?

Someone will post it on Facebook…

It will grace the bumper of the car in front of you…

It will float out there like a righteous hot air balloon amid some serious Christmas conversation…

With the casualness of saying “How’s it going?”, it will be reeled off the tongue of a sincere friend…

You may even be accosted with it by some non-commercialized zealots intent on keeping Christmas “pure”…

With big letters, some store owners will paint it on their storefronts…

Maybe I’m the first one to bring it to your attention this Christmas season…

You are going to come face to face with it sooner or later, so here we go…

“Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”

There…
I said it…
You just read it…
Whew…
Glad that’s over with…

My iWitness…

I get it.
I understand.
I even put it on the top of this blog post!
I know what “they” are driving at when they proclaim it and declare it.
I see the desire to “rail against the commercialized Christmas machine.”

Yes…

The focus of the Christmas season needs to center on the newborn savior.
However…

Jesus is not the reason for the season.

Yes, you read that right.

Let me repeat myself…

Jesus is not the reason for the season.

If Jesus is not the reason for the season, then who or what is the reason for the season?

Do you want to know the answer?
Of course you do!

YOU are the reason for the season!!

Listen carefully as you read the most quoted verse in all of scripture…

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3. 16-17)

God loved who? The world!
Who is the world? YOU
God gave His son. So that whoever believes…
Who is whoever? YOU
God sent His son not to condemn, but to save.
Save who? YOU
God sent His son into the world so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.
Who gets eternal life? YOU

Get it?
Got it?
Good!

YOU are the reason for the season! And don’t let anyone tell you different…

And that’s my iWitness…
Laugh often and Fear not!
David!

ps – This is a chapter out of my “iWitness December” daily devotional book. Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format.

David@seeinggodatworkeveryday.com