When Daddy Comin?

For the past two weeks, I have been home with my family celebrating our new arrival! Since there is only so much I can do for our new baby, most of my time was spent playing with and taking Read more

Angel Tree

When I was a child, my family fully embraced the traditions of Christmas. We decorated our home with the most cherished ornaments, lights, and bows. We handmade or purchased gifts with much thought about the receiver. We made plans Read more

Begin with Jesus

The autobiography of G. Stanley Jones is titled A Song of Ascent, and it’s considered to be a spiritual classic. Jones was a great man: a missionary to India, a friend to Gandhi, a tireless world traveler, and a Read more

Weeds

Have you ever been responsible for a task you didn’t particularly enjoy? Perhaps you can relate to one homemaker who developed a unique perspective on some of her less enjoyable household duties. She said: I don't do windows because I Read more

New Each Day

Patrick Henry, whose primary contribution to the history books is the phrase "Give me liberty or give me death," made another memorable statement. He said, "I know of no way of judging the future but by the past." Repeat this before Read more

When Daddy Comin?

Posted on by GODencounters in Articles | Leave a comment

For the past two weeks, I have been home with my family celebrating our new arrival! Since there is only so much I can do for our new baby, most of my time was spent playing with and taking care of our 20 month old son. I loved this time of bonding with him, and he loved the time with his daddy. I knew it would be difficult for him when I started back to work on Friday. Sure enough, Friday afternoon I got a text from my wife that our son was repeatedly asking “When Daddy comin?” No text has pierced my heart like that. He’s not really old enough to understand exactly why I’m not there. He just knows that he misses his daddy.

Sometimes I feel that way about God. I don’t fully understand why He doesn’t come; I just know that I miss Him. I want to see Him. I want to play with Him. I want Him to love on me. I know someday He will come, and we will go home. But until then, I wait with longing.

My experience with my son has also taught me one other thing: this longing to be together is even worse for the Father than it is for me.

Angel Tree

Posted on by GODencounters in Articles | Leave a comment

When I was a child, my family fully embraced the traditions of Christmas. We decorated our home with the most cherished ornaments, lights, and bows. We handmade or purchased gifts with much thought about the receiver. We made plans to go to Grandma’s house for Christmas Eve, and my mother allowed us kids to be a part of the month-long baking of cookies, cakes, and holiday pies. Our home functioned much like every other home in our neighborhood. However, with all that holiday excitement occurring in our house, there was one tradition I looked forward to above all the other activities, and that favorite activity was the day my mother would take me to select a child off of the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

I always selected a girl who was most like myself. Then, with a budget clearly spelled out (Yes, I understood the parameters of a budget at 8 years old and I was a thrifty shopper even then!), my mother and I would purchase one toy, one stuffed animal, one outfit, hygiene products, a bag of candy, and a box of candy canes! I loved rushing home and watching my mom carefully wrap each individual gift with colorful paper and Christmas bows. But before we would seal up the box, I would go to my drawer and pull out my most favorite pair of pajamas. I would select the pair that was most like new, and I would wrap them up myself. My mother told me that I should give something of my own to this child and not just buy everything. And so, every year I would carefully select the perfect pair of pajamas and include them in the box. And I loved it. Of course, later in the week I would forget that my beloved PJ’s were given away and riffle through my clothes for a second in search of something to wear. But then a smile would come to my face as I realized where they had gone.

I haven’t selected a child off of the Salvation Army Angel Tree for many years now, but I’m thankful my mother began this tradition of giving that has lasted my whole life. As I’ve gotten older, the opportunity to give has taken on various forms: visiting nursing home residents, assisting in children’s classes at church, getting involved with groups that help to clean up the devastation of a natural disaster, and even traveling to other countries to build schools, help orphaned children, and give medical attention to those in need.

These experiences have taught me many things, but the greatest one is this: The spirit of giving doesn’t have to be confined to the Christmas season. Additionally, blessings are not only reserved for the receiver but are also poured out to the giver. Don’t be afraid to give of yourself this Christmas and throughout the year—there is no shortage of blessings to be given . . . or received.

Guest contributor: Shae Beery

Begin with Jesus

Posted on by Mike Tucker in Articles | Leave a comment

url-3The autobiography of G. Stanley Jones is titled A Song of Ascent, and it’s considered to be a spiritual classic. Jones was a great man: a missionary to India, a friend to Gandhi, a tireless world traveler, and a great writer and speaker.

Now, what is amazing to me is that this book was actually his third attempt at an autobiography. He was 83 years old at the time. Jones had written two previous books but had been unwilling to publish them. The first, he said, was too filled with the little events of his life — things he judged not worth telling. In the second attempt, he tried to take the events of his life and to use them to philosophize about life in general. But even this, he decided, was not the right focus. The third time, he determined, he was going to begin with Jesus. What he discovered after two bad attempts was that he had been working backwards; he had been working from events of life to the Christ Event. And now, in his third attempt, he discovered the secret. As he would say in his introduction to that third book: “Christ has been, and is to me, the Event.

Jones tells a story about an African, who, after he was baptized, changed his name, calling himself “After.”  What he was saying was that everything in his life happened “after” he met Christ.  Jones felt that that was also the description of his own life.  Everything that happened to me, he stated, happened to me after I met Christ.

In his first two attempts, he had been too events-centered and not enough Event-centered. In the third and successful book, he concentrated on the Event and worked back to the events, understanding his own life in the light of Christ.

Our lives take on meaning when we see them in light of the day we accepted Christ.  Jesus is the center, the Prime Mover, and the reason for our being.  Everything finds purpose in Him.

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