THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS


DAILY DEVOTIONS

HI!

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Each month I get a wonderful devotion from Phil and Pam Morgan (I never know which of them is writing, but this time I KNOW Phil wrote it...hehe).

This devotion touched my heart in a special way, and I know it will yours also. It is copied in full and by permission below.

You can find Phil and Pam Morgan at: http://www.philandpammorgan.com/Home/
You'll find some great music and a wonderful story of their ministry there. Some of you pastors may want to invite them to your church.

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Jude 1-3
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
KJV

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The Christmas season can be packed full with shopping, family gatherings, Church services, parties and my personal favorite, the annual Children's Christmas program. This has to be the most entertaining event of the year, not because of quality but because of unpredictability.

Who hasn't chuckled to see a shepherd whack his partner with a staff, or a solemn wise man pick his nose. Maybe this holds a special fascination for me because one of my earliest experiences on stage was in a kid's christmas musical. Looking back at this first fiasco, I'm surprised I ever stepped onto a platform again!

Once upon a time when I was but a wee lad, our church decided to retell the story of baby Jesus using children as actors. I was selected for the role of Joseph, mostly because that included a singing part and I was the only guy who would belt it out in front of a crowd. The fellowship hall stage was magically transformed into a Bethlehem stable complete with hay and cardboard cutout palm trees. At the very center was a wooden manger to hold the newborn king. We could find no young mother brave enough to trust her infant to our adolescent care, so baby Jesus was plastic that year. As events would unfold, that was a very wise decision.

At one pivotal point in the program, Mary and I were to walk down the center aisle with the baby. We were quite the sight strolling along in our authentic costumes sewn from somebody's old sheets. When we arrived at the platform, I watched as Mary carried baby Jesus up the few steps and laid Him gently in the manger. Now was my turn to join them onstage. I started up the steps, but my long flowing robe got tangled up in my slightly uncoordinated feet, and down I went. I plunged head first into the manger, knocking it over and sending baby Jesus sliding clear to the back of the stage. There was a gasp from the audience. (Maybe not everyone knew our Jesus was plastic?)

I quickly rose to my feet, righted the overturned manger and retrieved the holy infant. Looking back, I probably should have laid him in the manger instead of tossing him from six feet away, but the crowd loved it and laughter broke out. In any case, Jesus was back where He belonged and the rest of the program was smooth by comparison.

My prayer is that you don't get so wrapped up in the busyness of the season that you plunge headfirst into Christmas, knocking Christ completely out of the picture. Take a few moments this week to sing Silent Night and imagine yourself kneeling on the hay covered ground before the tiny Savior of us all.

He is the reason, let's make sure He is our focus.
We all must remember that Christ is the center of our celebration.

(Printed by permission from Phil and Pam Morgan, http://www.philandpammorgan.com/Home)

Love ya,
Bruce