Enjoying the Journey

The end of the year is often a reflective time. Dr. Frank Sells, one of my favorite Bible teachers, used to warn us of becoming “morbidly introspective.” If our reflection concentrates on us it is likely to become pretty discouraging! Our failures. Our burdens. Our disappointments. The right reflection will cause us to look to the Lord, to consider His goodness and His faithfulness. A few days ago God directed my attention to a lesser known passage written by Moses. (There was a man who knew something by experience about transitions!) The children of Israel stood at the brink of a new season, on the verge of all God had for them, when he said, “But the land, whither ye…

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Did you see the star? Over the last few days there has been a great deal of talk about the rare convergence of Saturn and Jupiter in the night sky. The appearance of this Christmas Star stirred lots of discussion and a little debate over whether it was the same star that the wise men followed to Bethlehem. Matthew records for us the story of the magi and their most unusual GPS… “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are…

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Dad and mom made it a practice to read the Christmas story with our family each Christmas morning. As a little boy this was a serious delay in the opening of presents! However, through the years I have come to love this time and Tammy and I continued the tradition with our kids. It is a reminder of who we celebrate. The two narrative accounts of the Christmas story are found in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20. If you have never done this I would encourage you to take time to read the story in your home this year. Then pause to thank God with your family for His “unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). This week I was reading in…

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It was Sunday, September 7, 2015. My mind was racing in so many directions. I knew that God was working in my life to show me His will but it still was not clear. After church that afternoon I sat down alone in my study and opened my Bible with no real idea of where I was going to read. I only knew I needed to hear from God. My Bible opened to the beginning of the New Testament and so I decided to begin in the gospel of Matthew and read until I knew God had spoken to me. Through the genealogy in chapter one. Into the familiar account of the magi following the star in chapter two. Isn’t…

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I do love Christmas. While there are so many enjoyable aspects to this time of year, we must never forget that, for a Christian, every holiday should be a holy day and every celebration an opportunity to worship. You see, the reality is: I do love Christ. He has changed my life and eternal destiny! There is a danger in being detoured by the secularization of the season, but there is also a pitfall in getting bogged down in only one part of the story. The manger, the stable, the star, the shepherds…all of this is just the beginning. In the words of the iconic radio commentator Paul Harvey, you have to get “the rest of the story.” We must…

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Everyone’s favorite verse to quote in recent times has been, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). While this is absolutely true and evidently happening I would encourage you to read the next verse: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14). We must never use the condition in our world as an excuse for our own faithlessness and fruitlessness. When the Lord said that wickedness would abound more and more He did not say that His power would wax less and less! CONTINUE! As we begin a new year this must be…

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Go ahead and sing it – you know the words! We have always had a lot of fun singing and acting out the old Christmas classic The Twelve Days of Christmas. This English Christmas Carol was based on the twelve days of Christmas celebration that actually began on December 25 and ended on January 5. While the lyrics have changed some through the years and there is debate over the exact meaning of each line, one thought permeates the song: each day and each gift is a reminder that someone truly loves you. Did you know that Christmas is only 12 days from today? What a wonderful thing it would be if over the next twelve days we meditated each…

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Have you sent out your Christmas cards yet? Through the years it has become increasingly difficult to send cards to everyone that we love and want to greet. For the last several years we have simply given cards to family and send greetings by media and email to many others. However you may send your Christmas greetings I would like to give you an idea for those that you receive. Tammy and I always enjoy looking through the Christmas cards and family pictures that come in the mail each year. (Let’s be honest, with all of the technology, we still enjoy getting actual mail in the mailbox!) Perhaps you display them for a few days, but what do you do…

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This has been a strange year for all of us. One of the words that we have heard repeatedly is the word canceled. Business meetings canceled. Church programs canceled. Sporting events canceled. Concerts canceled. Parties canceled. Family trips canceled. It has such a ring of finality and loss in it that many people have found themselves riding an emotional roller coaster over and over. On top of this we are living in what is now referred to as a “cancel culture.” Individuals are cast out of favor and fellowship for disagreeing with cultural norms and politically correct positions. This is not new. Growing up we called it bullying. Spiritually speaking sin and Satan are the great cancelers. They always lead…

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It is always an encouragement to hear from friends who are studying God’s Word with us each day on Enjoying the Journey. I just received a very kind email question from a man who listens to the daily broadcast. His question prompted me to go back and review one of last week’s episodes on the name of God. On Friday we looked at the Hebrew name El Olam which is introduced to us in the story of Abraham and Abimelech. Our study concentrated on the beginning of that story in Genesis 20:13. During the broadcast I stated that the name for God that Abraham used was El Olam – “the everlasting God.” While that is true, he did not use…

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