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Great Day Addendum

Star Trek (In a Star Wars World)

Star Trek

I know all the hype is about the new Star Wars movie these days... but thought I'd share another star themed GDA today...

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”” - Matthew 2:1-2 NIV

On my way home from an evening workout, I drove through a neighborhood near my house taking in the different Christmas lights and decor of many of the houses along the road. As I left one neighborhood and began to drive through the next, I had to stop for a moment and gather myself.

There it was. Plain as day on the side of a house. Predominantly displayed for all the world to see, through perfectly lain light green Christmas lights... the Star Trek emblem.

And I laughed out loud.

Now, I’m no Trekie, but I know the Star Trek emblem when I see it. Especially a large one pasted right there on the garage of a house.

What’s not clear is why? Why the lights were purposely hung like that or if some how, some of them had fallen and accidentally, purely by chance ended up that way.

Either way, I again laughed out loud at the site of the logo as I drove away on to my destination, the Star Trek theme rattling in my brain, “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Whose never ending mission to seek out new lives and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before...” Key the theme song.

Yet, through my laughter, I began to realize that maybe the logo was appropriate. There were three wise men that had a star trek of their own. Three wise men that followed a heavenly star that announced the birth of the Christ child. The Messiah. The Savior of the world. Bringing Him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. They knew the signs. They had studied the history. They knew the stars. Three wise men from the east following a star to Bethlehem to find and meet Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

We, too, need a star trek. A star trek of our own. A trek to follow the star in our hearts to Bethlehem. To that barn, that shack, that cave full of hay. To discover who it was the angels declared and to whom the star guided. To find the Child, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. We need to follow that star to give the Christ Child our gifts, our gold, our myrrh, our frankincense.... our hearts, our lives, our everything

This Christmas season, we need to go on our own star trek... a never ending journey to seek Jesus ~ to find Him ~ to know Him more.

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem

“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” - Matthew 2:9-12 NIV

The Magnificat: Mary's Song of Praise

The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” - Luke 1:46-55 NIV

This has been a passage that for one reason or another I have always seemed just to sort of skim over or pass by on my way to Luke 2 and the Birth of Jesus.

Yet this morning, I stopped for a moment soaked in Mary’s Song of Praise.

Mary had just been visited by an angel (remember, the angels in the Bible are mighty warriors) that both frightened her and gave her the great news that she would carry God’s Child. And Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you’ve said about me come true.”

She then went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who once thought barren, was 6 months pregnant. As Mary greeted her, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumped for joy. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and blessed Mary and her baby.

That’s when Mary sings her Song of Praise to the Lord.

I wonder how often we (or rather, I) fail to take a moment to sing God’s praises?

We see and feel His blessings. We understand all that he has done for us. Overall and at any single moment in time. Yet, instead of singing our song of praise, we move on. We skim over it. We move past it. On to the next life event.

And we miss a moment to sing our heartfelt praises to our Lord.

Today, as we face the coming Christmas season, let’s commit to take advantage of our opportunities to sing God’s praises. Let’s strive to see God at work in and around us and sing our song of praise to Him.

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem

Christmas Music

Christmas Music

Ok... It’s confession time.

I’m not a big fan of Christmas Music. There it is. I’ve said it. Whew....

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big music guy. I love to sing. I love to listen to Music. I’ve got a huge music collection. And, I’m a huge fan of Christmas. I love all that Christmas is and all its happenings.

However, when it comes to Christmas Music, I tend to be more Bah Humbug than Ho, Ho, Ho.

I think it’s because I associate it with Christmas Retail. Now a days especially, it seems, the retailers are setting up for Christmas even before Halloween. So, it seems to take the special away... at least for me.

Also, when I turn the radio on, I’d like to hear my favorite music not necessarily my favorite artists singing old “Christmas Carols”. However, I don’t mind new, original Christmas songs by my favorite artists.

Ok. now that that rant is over... I’m going to contradict myself a bit.

I love Christmas Music.

That is, if it’s my choice and my timing. Or if I allow it to seep into my soul. Suddenly, I’m singing the old stand by’s and I don’t even realize it. Suddenly, the Christmas Spirit is filling me with Emmanuel, Mary Did You Know, Silent Night, Carol of the Bells, etc. and so on. And the next thing you know, I’m singing and praising and worshiping.

And that brings me to the lesson of the moment: That’s how it should be with God’s Word. We should allow it to seep into our very soul and permeate our very being to where it just flows out from us in our speech and our actions.

And that’s how it should be with His praises. Songs of praise should flow from our lips from our soul. Words of praise and worship so filling us that it can’t help but escape. Our hearts thankful for all that He is. Our bodies sore afraid from the thought of his awesomeness and His glory. So filled that praise spills out and overflows and we can’t help but praise.

As Christmas approaches, let’s stop for a moment and remember the birth of the Child born to be Savior of the World. The Child who become a man, but not any ordinary man. A man that lived a holy, sinless life. A man that is Son of God and Son of man. A man who lived and died and lived again so that we might have life, might be forgiven, might one day be with Him in heaven. A Child like no other child who grew to be a man like no other man. Jesus, the One who saves His people from their sin. Emmanuel, God with us.

As Christmas approaches. Let’s take the opportunity to sing His praises. To sing of His greatness. To sing to the King of kings and Lord of lords. To sing to the Savior of the world.

Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem

O clap your hands, all peoples;Shout to God with the voice of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared,A great King over all the earth.
He subdues peoples under usAnd nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us,The glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah.
God has ascended with a shout,The Lord, with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;Sing praises with a skillful psalm.
God reigns over the nations,God sits on His holy throne.
The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham,For the shields of the earth belong to God;He is highly exalted.” - Psalm 47 NASB



“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…” - Ephesians 5:13-15 NIV

Mornings are hard. Especially on cold, chilly mornings when the bed is warm and inviting and we may have stayed up a little later than we should have. Sleep beckons. So we fight the alarm clock and the urging of the day for just a little bit longer… for just another 5 minutes.

The battle seems to be even harder for kids (at least for mine)… 5 more minutes can easily turn into 10 to 15 or longer, if not for the urging and prodding of their parental units. And no matter how many times we may sing “Rise and Shine” and/or call out from another part of the house, the bed has a hard hold on them.

In today’s passage, we are reminded of another kind of sleep. The kind of sleep that is a numbness to the things of the world. A numbness to to things of darkness. We are reminded earlier in Ephesians 5 (5:8) that we “were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” We are reminded that the Fruit of the Spirit is in all “goodness, righteousness and truth.”

Then we are told and reminded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

We live in a world today that has blended light and darkness into some sirt of shade of gray. Causing us, yes even the follower Christ, to become numb to it. Things that should turn our stomach are suddenly funny and harmless. Things that would never be said, are suddenly common place. And things that should be said and done are suddenly hateful (or hate-filled) and politically incorrect.

Like in this Ephesians passage, we are called out even today to

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Wake up. Rise and Shine. Thaw your numbing heart and shine. Be in the light as He is in the light. Shine like a city on a hill.

Keep the Faith… Carpe Diem.

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