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December 2014 Blog Posts (13)

Silent, Secret, or Sold Out

Silent, Secret, or Sold Out

Why would someone keep silence so that something that they believed would remain secret?  Actually there are many reasons, like fear, peer pressure, and not wanting to appear different from those around you, as well as the high price to pay for being different.  But it typically boils down to some form of intimidation. That's how the Nazi’s did it, by making anyone who failed to join lockstep with them with the  Hitler Youth movement, or who spoke…

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Added by john hoelzel on December 30, 2014 at 8:37pm — No Comments

Audience with the King

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

 

There’s plenty about life that can disturb us—dreary overcast Mondays, post-holiday depression, anxiety about what the new year may bring, health concerns, family squabbles, moral dilemmas. But we will not disintegrate emotionally if we habitually share with our Father what bothers us. Scripture reassures us we can give all our worries and cares to God, since He…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 29, 2014 at 1:23pm — No Comments

The Presents and the Presence

My precious daughter Molly will turn 30 next month, but I’ll never forget one of her first Christmases. It was 28 years ago, when she was about to turn two.

We had purchased some great presents for Molly, who was our only child at the time. It would be exciting to watch her reaction to the carefully chosen gifts we had purchased.

However, to our amazement, Molly showed very little interest in the toys, clothes, and educational materials we had wrapped for her. Instead, she was…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 25, 2014 at 5:58am — No Comments

Christmas Truce

One hundred years ago today, on Christmas Eve, the World War I Christmas truce occurred. The respite in fighting happened in the unlikely setting of mud, cold rain, and senseless killing. It took place despite orders by superiors. It took place despite language barriers. If only for a few hours, sworn enemies became temporary friends.

 

World War I had been raging for only four months, but it was turning out to be one of the bloodiest wars in history. Soldiers on both sides…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 24, 2014 at 1:03pm — No Comments

The Sweet Aroma of Friendship

The medical procedures were not major, but were enough of a concern that I shared my anxiety with friends on social media. The three epidural injections were scheduled over a period of time and designed to relieve pain. I had opted to skip the pre-shot sedation. Sometimes, with no ill intent, “friends” increase the anxiety level. One friend replied, “I had the series of three; two out of the three weren’t bad.” Another commented, “A friend of mine was un-sedated for the first shot, chose…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 21, 2014 at 3:13pm — No Comments

Envisioning the Invisible God

“Instead of complaining that God had hidden Himself, you will give Him thanks for having revealed so much of Himself.” (Pascal, Pensees, 1670)

 

Reverencing Christ, we begin to comprehend God’s gracious personality. Jesus perfectly represents His Father, personifying love in His life. Observing Christ, we see God’s likeness.

 

Submitting to our Sovereign, we experience God’s infinite goodness. Believing God engineers our lives…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 17, 2014 at 11:40am — No Comments

Will Next Year Be Any Better?

 

“Our notion of an optimist is a man who, knowing that each year was worse than the preceding, thinks next year will be better. And a pessimist is a man who knows the next year can’t be any worse than the last one.”  (Franklin Adams, 1944)

 

An end-of-the-year USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll reveals that 70% of people surveyed are dissatisfied with how things are going in America today. Only 49% predict 2015 will be better—the first time in a…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 15, 2014 at 11:27am — No Comments

Historic Gathering of Young Evangelists Set for Wheaton College

Historic Gathering of Young Evangelists Set for Wheaton College

 

 Two-day Conference — Feb. 20-21 — to Feature Will Graham, Jon Bloom and More Than 20 Influential Evangelists   

 
 

WHEATON, Ill. — Evangelists from around the world will gather Feb. 20-21 in Chicago for the Wheaton Evangelism Conference (…

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Added by Phil Miglioratti on December 14, 2014 at 3:19pm — No Comments

You & Me and Our Crazy Family Tree

Christmas is a special time for families—but that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy time. Gathering with relatives over the holidays can either be pleasant or painful, magical or mayhem. While you have great anticipation in seeing some of your loved ones, other members of your family tree may make you cringe.

Picture the family line of a good friend of mine. If the whole gang could somehow be brought together for a family reunion, I can only imagine the sparks that would…

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Added by Jim Buchan on December 12, 2014 at 2:32pm — No Comments

Be Careful!

“No one tests the depths of a river with both feet.” (Ashanti Proverb)

 

Knowing life could be dangerous and being concerned for our welfare, our parents advised us to be careful. From God’s omniscient perspective, aware that invisible forces are ready to attack when our guard is down, our Heavenly Father warns us to be careful.

 

Drifting on life’s sea can lead to moral shipwreck. A tumbleweed in circumstantial winds entangles in embarrassing…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 10, 2014 at 12:29pm — No Comments

Searching for Good News

“Nowadays truth is the greatest news.” (Thomas Fuller, 1732)

 

Scanning today’s headlines, it’s difficult to discover any good news. In the Philippines, at least 21 are dead and 1,000 homes have been destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit. In Iraq, Kurds are in a stalemate battling the Islamic State militants. In Abu Dhabi, a monstrous killer stabbed to death a kindergarten teacher. In Afghanistan, a thousand additional U.S. troops will remain in response to increased Taliban…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 8, 2014 at 10:10am — No Comments

When You Can't Get Life Together

“You say before you die, you intend to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,

climb to the very top of Mount Sinai, and read the Ten Commandments out loud.

I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you just stay right where you are and keep them!”

- Mark Twain

 

We can live joyfully by trusting God. Bowing to false gods of the heart disappoints. God is the only absolutely reliable spot in the universe.

 

We can…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 3, 2014 at 11:59am — No Comments

Christmas at What Price?

Let Christmas not become a thing merely of merchant’s trafficking,

Of tinsel, bell and holly wreath and surface pleasure.

Beneath the childish glamour, let us find nourishment for soul and mind.

Let us follow kinder ways through our teeming human maze,

And help the age of peace to come from a Dreamer’s martyrdom.

- Madeline Morse

 

The sacred holy day of…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on December 1, 2014 at 11:34am — No Comments

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