Archive for the ‘personal reflections’ Category

JE # 150 – In Times Like This

October 3, 2009

helpIn Times like This

By: Bro. Bren

September 28, 2009

10:02a.m.

Calamities are bound to come especially in a tropical country like the Philippines. Typhoons, earthquakes, landslides, floods and tsunamis are just few scenarios that we experienced or being experienced in our country. These occurrences can paralyze us from our normal way of life. It could even kill us. But what should we do when these come? How should a Christian react to such?

Reflect

Reflect on why these things are happening. What’s our contribution to nature that God allowed a calamity to happen? Is it because of our sin? Is it because of our neglect? Neglecting our love for nature and God?  God will not allow things to happen without his permission. Remember when Jonah was going away from God? He sent a great storm to remind Jonah of his mission. Surely, He has a purpose for letting calamities strike our land. We just need to seek God’s heart for that. Of course, we need to repent for all the sins we’ve committed and resolve to change our ways. J

Pray

This is the best thing that believers should do. Pray! During storms, God reveals that He is sovereign. He certainly controls everything. So as His children, we can ask, we can plead to our Sovereign and Almighty God. Prayer is so powerful that it can move mountains. It can even do the impossible.

Prepare

As I mentioned earlier, calamities will always come. We just don’t know when. It is important to be prepared. And what should we prepare? First, our heart, soul and mind. We need to be strong inside before facing a physical storm outside. Second, our emergency kit. Petty items included on this kit could save us when a storm hits us. Third, be alert. Watch out for the latest updates on TV or radio. You may be prompted to evacuate your place when floods rise.

Help

As I watched the images of Typhoon Ondoy, my heart was crushed. Images of people asking to be saved brought me to tears. How should we react? Crying and praying will not be enough. Victims need food and clothing. We need to help our kababayans. If you’re not a victim, praise God that you’re spared and thank Him that you have this opportunity to show kindness to people in need.

After the storm, TV networks and other charitable organizations started to raise funds for the victims. Our church’ charity arm was also mobilized to help our affected members and other victims.

You can help in any way. You can share your resources. Donate some money or clothes. If you don’t have one, you can share your time and talent. Help in the repacking of relief goods in a charitable organization.  If you’re a nurse or a doctor, you can even join in medical mission. There’s always something that you can do to help.

Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.

-          2 Corinthians 8:7 New Living Transalation

Smile

What’s amazing about Pinoys is that we can always smile in the midst of the storm or any hardship. The song is right, “with Christ in my vessel, I can smile at the storm”.

Trust and Obey

May the storms that strike us remind that we can do nothing on our own. We need to trust  and obey God in everything.

Let me end this post with these verses from Hosea Chapter 6:

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.

2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.

3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”

God keep us.

JE # 149 – Wash Your Sins

September 18, 2009

washMaghugas ng Kasalanan

By Bro. Bren

Good Friday, 10 April 2009 23:35

Madalas nating marinig sa ibang tao lalo na ngayong panahon ng Semana Santa, “Magbawas-bawas ka naman ng kasalanan.”  O kaya, “Maghugas-hugas ka naman ng kasalanan mo. “

Paano kaya tunay na mahuhugasan ang ating mga kasalanan? Anu-ano ang mga pamamaraan ng tao upang ang kasalana’y malinis ng ganap?

First, let us define sin. To sin is to miss the mark. It is failing at something that has been set to be observed by everyone. Ang pagkakasala ay ang hindi pag-abot sa isang standard na sinet ng isang grupo  o ng isang taong may kapangyarihan para i-enforce ang mga kautusan.

1 John 3:4 says, “ Everyone who sins breaks the law, in fact sin is lawlessness.

When you break the law, you commit sin. Nagkakasala ka pag sinuway mo ang batas. At sa bawat pagsuway, may katumbas na parusa. Maging sa batas man ng tao, merong parusang pinapataw sa sinumang nagkakasala. Nagnakaw ka, parurusahan ka. Nangalunya ka, may parusa yan. Pumatay ka, pagbabayaran mo. Mas higit sa batas ng Dios, pag tayo’y nagkakasala, may katapat na kaparusahan. At alam nyo ba kung anong kaparusahan sa kasalanan? – KAMATAYAN!

For the wages of sin is DEATH, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (emphasis mine)

Sabi yan ng Romans 6:23. Nakakatakot ba? Maaring ito’y physical o spiritual death. Nung magkasala ang unang magulang magulang natin, nagkaron ng physical na kamatayan.  Sabi ng Dios sa Genesis 3:19

…For you are dust,

and to dust you shall return.

Sa aspect ng spiritual death, may sinasabi ang Revelation 21:8

But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Merong dalawang kamatayan ang binabanggit sa Bible, physical and spiritual, which is the second death. Lahat tayo bound to the second death. Lahat naman makasalanan. Lahat naman siguro nagsinungaling. Ang sabi, sa dagat-dagatang apoy ang tungo natin.

Kaya nga ang tao kung anu-anong paraan ang ginagawa para huwag tumuloy sa lugar na yan. Ang sabi pa ng iba, nagbabawas ng kasalanan. Para naman mas bumigat yung mga mabuting gawa kesa mga masasamang gawain.

Nitong mga nagdaang mga araw, napansin ko yung mga eksenang paulit-ulit kong nakikita sa bawat Semana Santang dumaraan. Mga taong nagpapako sa krus. Mga hinahampas ang sarili. Pinapahirapan ang sarili. Nagpapasugat. Ano ang sabi ng Bible tungkol dito?

Proverbs 21:3

To do righteousness and justice

is more acceptable to Yahweh than sacrifice.

Mas mahalaga sa Panginoon ang pagiging mabuti at makatarungan kesa mga walang kabuluhang pag-aalay.

Maraming tao nagpapakabuti para makapunta sa Langit. Nagpapakabuti para takpan ang mga kasalanang nagawa. Simba ng simba. Dasal ng dasal. Abuloy dito abuloy dun. Hindi masama yun. Pero nahuhugasan ba ang kasalanan natin sa pagiging mabuti?

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…

Para lamang daw maruming basahan ang ating mabubuting gawa. Ganun ang pagtingin ng Panginoon sa ginagawa nating mabuti. Sasabihin nyo, “Unfair naman ang Dios, gumagawa na nga ako ng mabuti parang balewala pa.”  Iba kasi ang tinitingnan Niya eh. Hindi Siya nakatingin dun sa ginagawa natin. Tinitingnan Niya kung sino ang laman ng puso natin.

Paano nga ba tunay na mahugasan ang ating mga kasalanan kung hindi ito mkkuha sa relihiyon o sa kahit anong mabuting gawa? Mahalaga pong malaman natin na ang tunay na paghugas ng kasalanan kasi ito ang ticket natin sa buhay na walang hanggan. Ang Dios ay Banal at hindi Niya mapapahintulutan ang anumang bahid ng kasalanan sa Kanyang kaharian.

1John 1:7

… the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

Yes, it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin! Wala ng iba. Ano naman kaya ang ibig sabihin nito? Pano ako mahuhugasan ng dugo ni Kristo? And dugo ni Kristo ay nagpapatawad, naglilinis ng lahat ng ating mga kasalanan. Kung walang shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22).

Dapat lamang na aminin natin ang ating mga pagkakasala. Humingi ng tawad. Repent. To repent is to turn away from sin and decide to follow the ways of God.  Then, ipagkatiwala ang kaligtasan sa Panginoong Jesus. Declare with faith in your heart that his work on the cross is enough to save us from the punishment of sin. Sabi sa Ephesians 2:8-10

for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

Walang anumang gawa natin ang makakahigit o makakapantay sa ginawa Niya sa krus. Hindi kayang tumbasan ng anumang pagpapahirap natin sa ating katawang-lupa ang Kanyang mga nagawa. Mamatay man tayo sa kakakapapako natin sa krus, hindi pa rin sapat para mabayaran ang ating mga kasalanan. Remember this, inako na lahat ni Jesus ang lahat ng kasalanan. Ang response na lang natin ang kailangan. Tatanggapin Siya o ireject Siya. Sabi Niya, ang purpose Niya kaya Siya nakipamuhay sa atin ay para iligtas tayo. Na sa iyo kung tatanggapin ang alok Niang kaligtasan o patuloy na iasa sa sarili ang kaligtasan ng kaluluwa.

Saturday Pabati – 091209

September 12, 2009

pabati copy

Birthday greetings to Mark Sumanting, Joenard Magtulis, Amor Arandia, Lutchie Rodriguez, Ahbel Surio, Mariano Banguit, Roche Reyes, Iting Sape-i, and LJ Salceda.

Happy Anniversary to YAMAN K-o-N-e-K and Mindanao State University.

Kamusta din sa mga masugid nating mga tagasubaybay na nasa mga barko – ang mga bayani nating seaman.

JE # 146 – Paalam, Cory

August 1, 2009

coryaquino

Today, the whole nation mourns for the lost a great leader – the democracy icon, former President Corazon Aquino.  No other President who has a loving heart for the country.

Thank you for your contributions. Thank you for the love of this country. Thank you for standing up for democracy.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview of Jessica Soho to the former President:

JS: Ma’am palagay niyo, saan pupunta itong bansang ito?

I still have great hopes. Tayong mga Pilipino, sasabihin, “Ano ba naman, bakit hindi tayo umangat katulad ng iba nating kalapit bansa?” Sabi ko, darating at darating din iyon.

Kaya nga I am so glad that it was at the suggestion of some people that we try to revive iyong “being like Ninoy,” that the Filipinos are like Ninoy, ready to sacrifice and to give their all for the sake of the country.

I also realized I have so much to be grateful for. I always tell my children, “Siguro 90% of the population have it so much worse. We really are so privileged so we have to show and return all these gifts that have been given to us.”

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Paalam and Salamat Cory.

You can watch live streaming here.

(video courtesy of GMANews.TV)

JE # 137 – Congratulations, 2009 Graduates!

March 28, 2009

mackyCongratulations to our 2009 graduates, Mark Buzon of dkPinoyradio.com (High school) and Mark Resus of Akong Kinabuhi (BS  Computer Engineering, Central Visayas State College of Agriculture, Forestry and Technology – Tagbilaran City)

Wishing you the best as you continue to glorify God in everything do.

Ecclesiastes 12: 9-14 The Message

Besides being wise himself, the Quester also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Quester did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.

The words of the wise prod us to live well.
They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together.
They are given by God, the one Shepherd.

But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:
Fear God.
Do what he tells you.

And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

JE # 127 – Happy Birthday Pastor Ed!

February 5, 2009

pastor-ed-pic

Thank you for inspiring us. May God continue to bless and keep you! Happy Birthday po mahal naming Pastor!

JE # 124 – Elements of Romance

January 10, 2009

Song of Songs,  the less-preached book of the Bible can be a great source of meaningful heavenly wisdom. Many preachers are afraid to talk about the subject of this book especially if the congregation is big and one has to consider the ages of his listeners. For them, sex and marriage can be difficult to handle on pulpit.

In this sermon, Pastor Ed will share an overview of wisdom we can get from reading this book.  Listen and learn as he brilliantly teach the elements of romance.

Pastor Ed Lapiz Message: ELEMENTS OF ROMANCE

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For personal study, a copy of this message on Audio CD is available at Kaloob Bookstore.

JE # 123 – Give Christmas a Facelift

December 22, 2008

Christmas has evolved. According to Pastor Ed, the celebration of Christmas has become very ugly and there are things that we have to change the way we celebrate this season. Listen and be enlightened. Merry Christmas!

Pastor Ed Lapiz Message: GIVE CHRISTMAS A FACELIFT

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JE # 122 – Feel Mo na ba ang Pasko?

December 17, 2008

Malamig na ang simoy ng hangin. May mga Christmas sale. Naglipana na rin ang mga snatcher at holdaper.

Feel mo na ba ang pasko?

Makulay ang paligid, excited ang lahat. Pero ang pasko ba ay nasa kulay, petsa, pera o pagsasaya?

Meron akong nakausap nung isang araw na ayaw daw ng Dios na magsaya ang mga tao kaya di sila nagdiriwang ng Pasko. Ang babaw naman. Ayaw pa ng Dios na magsaya tayo? Well, magsasaya tayo ng di nagkakasala. Pero may wisdom din yung sinabi nia. Marami sa mga ginagawa mga Kristiyano tuwing Pasko ay malayong-malayo na sa orihinal na unang Pasko.

Ang mga tao ay nagiging greedy at materialistic sa panahong ito. Bakit kaya? Pag pasko, natanim na sa isip ng tao na dapat meron sya nito, meron sya nun. Magrereklamo kung maliit ang 13th month pay. Magrereklamo kung walang bonus. May Kris Kringle na pahirapan pang maghanap ng kung anong mga something-something. May exchange gift na minsan ayaw pa ang regalong natanggap. Parusa! Eh di magkanya-kanya na lang ng bili para sa sarili ng walang reklamo. Remember, during the first Christmas, the wise men, Mary and Joseph did not exchange gifts. The wise men gave gifts without expecting something in return. Well, if you’re generous enough, give without expecting something. Naimbento lang nman ang exchange gifts na yan para walang lugi, lahat makatanggap. Naalala ko dati, may nagregalo ng bulok na saging. Galit na galit ngaun ang nkatanggap. Nasan kaya ang Christmas dun?

Aktibo na rin ang mga holdaper at snatcher. Sympre, hndi rin pahuhuli ang mga yan. Parang hndi kumpleto pag wala silang handa o kung anumang bagong material na bagay pagsapit ng Pasko.

Ang iba eh malungkot dahil malamig ang Pasko kasi wlang boyfriend/girlfriend. And nakakalungkot inispend ng iba ang Pasko sa motel para gumawa ng kasalanan.

Sa panahong to ang dami ring nanghihingi. Minsan nakakainis na. Makikita mo ang isang grupo na ito na may Christian sa pangalan na humihingi ng donation. Sa isang araw eh tatlong beses ko atang nakakasalamuha ang mga ito. Idagdag mo pa ang ilang kababayan nating Badjao na pag hndi mo nabigyan eh mumurahin ka pa. Ganito ba ang Pasko?

Feel mo ba ang Pasko?

Nag-evolve na nga ang Pasko. Ano ba ang gusto kong iparating? Ang Pasko ay hindi panlabas. Ang Pasko ay hindi nakikita sa abundance ng pera o ng regalo. Ang pera ay inimbento para gastahin. Pero hindi para sa mga walang kwentang bagay. Gastahin sa tamang paraan. Treasure must be enjoyed. Sabi sa Ecclesiastes 2:24

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24 (King James Version)

Gusto ng Dios na tayo’y nag-eenjoy. Nag-eenjoy na hindi nagkakasala.Nag-eenjoy sa tamang paraan at sa pamamaraan ng Dios.

Mahalagang iconsider natin ang Pasko bilang panloob na bagay. Bakit may Pasko? Dahil may Jesus na dumating sa mundo at nakasama natin.

John 1:14

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Siya ang dahilan kung bakit may Pasko na madalas ay nakakaligtaan ng marami dahil naging busy sa kung anu-anong party. Nabusy sa pagbabalot ng mga regalo. Busy sa paghahanap ng taong magpapainit ng kanilang Pasko. Walang masama sa pagsasaya. Aalalahanin lang natin ang dahilan kung bakit natin ipinagdiriwang ang season na ito.

Real Christmas is the dwelling of Christ within us. Yun lang naman eh. Ibabalik ko ulit ang tanong “Feel mo na ba ang Pasko?” Si Kristo ba ay nasa puso mo na at nananahan diyan sa buhay mo? Nagliliwanag ba Siya at nakikita ng iba sa yo? Kung oo, feel na feel mo ang Pasko!

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12 (King James Version)

Once you receive the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior, ikaw ay may tunay na Pasko. Having Jesus everyday is experiencing Christmas day by day. Feel na feel mo ang pasko araw-araw! Sana ganito tayo araw-araw. Marami ang naglo-long na sana araw-araw Pasko. Hindi dahil gusto nilang maexperience ang Savior everyday but because of the material things they receive on Christmas season.

This season, mag-isip-isip kung ano ang mas mahalagang pagtuunan ng pansin sa buhay. Huwag sayangin ang buhay sa mga walang kwentang bagay. Life is a gift. Enjoy and treasure each day by living it for Jesus.

Colossians 1:16

For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.

I don’t demonize Christmas celebration. Gawin lang natin ng tama. Remember: Christmas is all about Jesus!

JE # 120 – The Hope of Transformation

December 8, 2008
By: Pastor Renchi

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Christmas, easily, wins first prize for the most amazing, wonderful time of the year, and at the heart of this wonder is transformation. Everything transforms around Christmas time. Just look at our homes and the malls. Streets that glitter with Christmas lights. “People making lists, buying special gifts, taking time (for once) to be kind to one and all.”

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No other holiday transforms the country like Christmas. And how fitting. Christmas is our celebration of Christ’s coming to earth—transforming into a man in order that men might be transformed.

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What could be more wonderful and awe-inspiring than the fact that God became a man? (Joan Osborne asked, “What if God was one of us?” But there’s no “what if” about it. He did become one of us.) He left the perfect comfort and glory of heaven to live in this broken, painful world, where He would be rejected, hated, and ultimately murdered. He came to experience all the loss, frustration, confusion, hurt, loneliness, and temptation that we face. After this miracle of transformation, we could never accuse Him of not being able to understand. We could never complain that He was distant. It is mind-blowing. It is nothing short of amazing.

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The story of Christ’s birth has a number of absolutely amazing elements. Four in particular are Joseph’s faith, Jesus’ bloodline (family background), the Magi’s arrival, and the advent/arrival of Jesus Himself.

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JOSEPH’S FAITH

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Mary gets a lot of due credit for being Jesus’ mother because of her exceptional purity and submission. Let’s not forget, however, what a major figure Joseph, Jesus’ adopted father, was. Think about everything he had to deal with. His fiancée comes up to him and announces that she’s pregnant with God’s son. A likely story? No. Virgin birth, you might recall, has never happened before, nor has it happened since. You really can’t blame Joseph for being skeptical at first and planning to “divorce her quietly.” Then he has a dream telling him it’s true, and he believes. It’s one thing for Mary to have perfect faith that she’s carrying God’s baby knowing from experience she’s been a good girl. But Joseph has faith without any proof.

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Then they get married, and we’re told that Joseph “had no union with her” until after Jesus was born. He was so in awe of the miraculous thing happening in his wife that he respectfully waited. Considering Joseph was most likely your typical teenage guy with typical teenage hormones, this was a pretty substantial sacrifice for him to make.

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So then Joseph has another dream telling him to go to Egypt because King Herod wants Jesus dead. Joseph believes. He obeys. He leaves everything familiar and comfortable without any recorded complaining. He had no idea how long he and his little family would have to hide out there or when the next directional dream would come. But he had faith, and because of his faith, prophecies were fulfilled and Jesus was protected. We just have no clue what simple faith and obedience can do.

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JESUS’ BLOODLINE

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Jesus’ lineage is a remarkable one. Matthew 1:17 says, “There were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.” That is so interesting, and here’s why. Jesus was the 42nd generation, which is a multiple of seven, which is understood as one of God’s special numbers. God created the earth in seven days. Loads of Old Testament instructions for worship in the temple involved seven repetitions, and in Revelation, we find seven seals, seven lamp stands, seven stars and so on.

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What’s so fascinating about this is that God is not random. He obviously had a plan for exactly when he wanted His Son to arrive since at least way back in Abraham’s time. And He told Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him. Abraham could have had no idea how far-reaching that blessing would be—that through his bloodline, God Himself would become flesh.

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Another aspect of Jesus’ lineage worth noting is that it contains a prostitute, a Gentile, and a king. Rahab, a prostitute, helped protect the spies who came to scope out the Promised Land, and God rewarded her faith by making her a part of Jesus’ bloodline, proving that He can use those with even the most shameful pasts. Ruth, a Gentile (Moabite), married Rahab’s son, making her a great, great, great, great…grandmother of Jesus as well, early proof that Jesus came to rescue or reclaim everyone—not just the “Chosen People.” And David was Israel’s most known and beloved king. Although Jesus’ actual birth was humble and anything but noble, he was part of a royal bloodline. He was King.

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THE MAGI’S ARRIVAL

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These fellows were probably the most unlikely visitors to come see Jesus. They were pagans and foreigners and were coming from outrageously far away. Their entourage was big enough to catch the notice of the king, and their journey probably took them years. One commentary (Bible Gateway) says, “Magi were astrologers from the royal court of the king of Persia (now Iran)…Kings would often send congratulations to new rulers in other realms (empires).”

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Clearly the Magi were expecting to find an earthly king, surrounded by splendor. They went to Herod’s place first to find Jesus. You’d think that when they found Jesus not in a palace but in a humble house, they would have split. But we’re told they bowed down, worshiped Him, and presented Him with expensive gifts. These powerful and wise pagans, who actually practiced a form of divination (fortune-telling) condemned by God, fell down to worship a Jewish baby in a common house in a small town. That is incredible. God demonstrates how nothing is impossible for Him by reaching the most improbable people and using them to demonstrate His Kingship.

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JESUS’ ADVENT/ARRIVAL

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Just picture the baby Jesus wrapped up tight and lying in a feeding trough. It smells. It’s saliva-filled. It’s dirty. The chill of night has fallen. Mary and Joseph are far from home, tired and alone. Mary is in a great deal of pain. No family and friends are there to welcome their new child. The God of the universe has been transformed into a helpless, fussing baby. God came to earth. That is most amazing!

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Let us continue to be amazed, be filled with wonder, and worship Him. And in the process be transformed…

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