Principle of Eternity

As the joy of expectancy greets the heart’s nostalgia for days and lives gone by this Christmas, I pray that you would experience a fresh encounter with a God powerful enough to whisper His truth in a still, small voice.

I pray that He would manifest His presence in ways that bring new clarity of vision and enflamed imagination for the exploits you and I can do.

I pray that the joy of your salvation would fill you to overflowing as you are conformed daily into the image of Christ and learn to patiently wait on Him. [click to continue…]

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(The 12 Pathways to Christmas, Part 11 – The Way of Connection)

(This is a reprint from a previous post and a chapter in my book The Twelve Pathways to Christmas. See below for how you can purchase the book and help support missions.)

“I have connecting gate information here!”

Amber Amari knew something about making connections.  And no place connected more people and destinations than Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“Dallas/Ft Worth? A33.  Richmond?  Gate B10.”

Amber had the printout for Delta Flight 2943, inbound from Newark, as she stood at Gate A5.  But she hardly had to refer to it.  She had a remarkable gift for remembering the complex array of gates, times, and final destinations of her assigned passenger manifests.

“Oklahoma City is B14…  You’re welcome, sir – Merry Christmas to you, too.”

Everyone else on 2943 was a connection-in-waiting.  But today Amber had a special assignment.  The last passenger to deplane – six-year-old Bradi Russo – would be her companion for the day.

“Charlotte?  B8.”

Amber was something of a specialist in making connections.  And nowhere did the 27-year-old Red Coat’s gifts shine more than in unique, delicate situations.

Bradi Russo was a unique situation.

And as the tentative little girl took the hand of the flight attendant and walked toward the gate, it was good to know, Amber Amari understood the concept of delicate. [click to continue…]

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The Twelve Pathways to Christmas, Chapter 7:  The Way of Warfare

(This is a reprint from a previous post and a chapter in my book The Twelve Pathways to Christmas. See below for how you can purchase the book and help support missions.)

December 23

The first thing Ryan Fisher felt when he awakened was an obnoxious cold wind, pelting his face with sleet.  The searing pain coursing down his legs and across his chest further aroused him.  Opening his eyes, he saw movement outside, but the angle of his SUV in the ditch made it difficult to tell what was happening.  One thing was sure – the distant siren and flashing lights were for him.

Another thing became certain pretty quickly.  Assuming he lived, Ryan Fisher would spend Christmas alone.  There’d be no plane to catch, and nobody boarding a plane back to Birmingham.  Not in this storm.

It was the end of the day from hell, punctuating the week from hell, capping off the year from hell.  And now, freezing and in shock, Ryan Fisher closed a mental door.  He was done. [click to continue…]

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(And You Can and Should, Too)

Travel with me to an ancient version of Death Row. A lonely old man sits in isolation – a rare occurrence for a life so well-traveled and surrounded with people. And he awaits his fate.

He’s a dead man walking.

Yet even though his body is scarred and his bones crooked from a hardened life, he doesn’t have the same despair or desperation that’s typical of someone living under a death sentence. In fact, he has – dare I say it? – a sense of satisfaction. Fulfillment. Maybe even a touch of pride.

How do I know? His own words.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Those words from Paul have carried a new fascination for me recently.  Here was a man who know what his life was about, and lived it. He followed the course laid out for him, and he finished it.

Put in other language, Paul had a vision, and throughout his life he stubbornly, doggedly, faithfully pursued that vision.  Doing so was costly in the short run. He was routinely run out of town, beaten to a pulp, deserted by his friends, and bedeviled by danger. But to him it was a price worth paying, to get to the end of his life with two things: [click to continue…]

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Highway

Imagine your life as various points on the highway.  Fast Lane, Slow Lane, Shoulder, Ditch.

And at any given time, in any given area, you can be in one of those four.

Living in the Fast Lane means you’re getting where you’re going. You’re fulfilling your purpose.

In the Slow Lane you have a lot of movement, but you never quite seem to get there, wherever “there” is.

On the Shoulder, your “engine” is running, but you’re not moving ahead at all.

In the Ditch means you’ve crashed or are stuck, and without help you aren’t going anywhere.

Having punched my card in all four locations, I can tell you we’re all a mixed bag. You can be idling on the shoulder in one area, cruising in another, and crashed out in a third. So let’s break it down a little more. [click to continue…]

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Emtpy interior of the train for long and short distance

Everybody leads from the second chair. Everybody.

Kings and queens.

Presidents and popes.

CEOs and C-3POs.

Even Messiahs. [click to continue…]

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(But I’ll Bet You Haven’t)

It was a harsh and hostile time, filled with great uncertainty.  Public favor seemed to rock back and forth. One minute they were praised and celebrated, and the next they were vilified.  A generation earlier a ragtag cast of characters had electrified the world with the testimony that Jesus Christ, who had been crucified outside Jerusalem, had risen from the dead and was alive to this day.

But what started in a supernatural flurry of worship and wonder soon turned ugly. [click to continue…]

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Baby Ready

He’s this year’s first round draft choice. The Player to Be Named Later.  If you’re keeping score that’s number nine for us, and the eighth boy in a row.

Yep. It’s Baby Maybe season, and the landing gear is down.  He can be here at any time.

Now the official due date is sometime around the end of the month, but all indications point to a potential early arrival.  So we’ve made ourselves ready to go when the word goes forth.

We’re living with a sense of imminence.  And it’s affecting every part of our lives. [click to continue…]

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Join me on a little excursion.

If you love words as much as I do, and you have any appreciation whatsoever for Jesus Christ, I want to show you some of the most soaring, majestic language ever recorded about Him.  Our journey will pause at three locations, all in the New Testament.  Here’s the first… read this slowly. [click to continue…]

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Anticipation

It’s in the white space between the verses.  If it were captured on video, a la NFL Films, they’d replay it in slow motion with a tense musical score leading up to the climactic moment.  It often takes place in a matter of seconds and is hardly ever discussed. But we’ve all read about it. And chances are, we’ve lived it on some level.

The “it” that I’m referring to is that split-second gap between motion and miracle. When the world for just a second goes quiet and you’re breathless with anticipation.

It’s that Breathless Pause, where you’re waiting, anticipating something amazing. [click to continue…]

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