Your Job is More Important than You Realize

As we return to a more normal work rhythm, let’s not take for granted the jobs, institutions, vocations, and traditions we now carry on.

I love this thought by author David Brooks:

“A person is born into a collection of permanent institutions, including the army, the priesthood, the fields of science, or any of the professions, like being a farmer, a builder, a cop, or a professor. Life is not like navigating through an open field. It is committing oneself to a few of the institutions that were embedded on the ground before you were born and will be here after you die. It is accepting the gifts of the dead, taking on the responsibility of preserving and improving an institution and then transmitting that institution, better, on to the next generation.”

If you appreciate the Bible, you’ll read it

William Tyndale
Why do Christians love the Bible so much?  There are many answers, but let’s not forget this crucial reason:  individual Christians have not always had the Scripture!

For centuries only spiritual leaders could access the Bible. This arrangement made God’s people vulnerable when leadership did not follow God’s heart. The courage and sacrifices of John Wycliffe (1328-1384), William Tyndale (1494-1536) and their ministry partners left us an incomparable gift – the Scripture in English.  Read their stories some time.

As you pick your Bible to read in 2019, remember that the ability to read Scripture in your native language was very costly.  Whatever we appreciate becomes valuable to us.  Let us approach Scripture reading with deep appreciation.

We get to do this!

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The New Testament Bible Reading plan can be found by clicking here.

Reading the book of Revelation

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Almost every Bible reading plan ends with Revelation, which makes sense chronologically. But, it always feels odd to read these apocalyptic prophecies during such a festive season. This paradox is a reminder that good and bad are always traveling together through our lifetime.
 
I personally believe that most “end time scholars” have made a complete mess of interpreting Revelation. (I have some sermons and teachings on this subject from years past that I pray get lost into eternity. :-))
 
So, when I receive the blessing this divine writing promises (Rev. 1:3), I focus on the characteristics revealed about our great God. When the self-proclaimed experts on Revelation fade away, our incomparable God is the stable force of judgnment and love we continue to follow.
 
Maranatha!

Randy Carter preaching at CIL

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Sunday is going to be great at CIL!

My good friend Randy Carter will return to preach on December 30th. Randy is smart, seasoned, and humorous. Everyone loved it when he was with us a couple of years ago, so you will not want to miss Sunday’s service.

Randy is the senior pastor of Northside Assembly of God in Jackson, TN. He is going to bring CIL an encouraging message in anticipation of 2019, so come expecting great things from God!

9:00am or 10:45am.

Challenge to Christians: Read the New Testament in 2019

The most important thing I have done in my ministry is encourage and teach people how to read the Bible.  After working with new converts, seasoned pastors, and observing myself, I am convinced of this:  If you don’t have a plan to read the Bible in 2019, you will read far less of the Bible than you anticipate.

I want to challenge and encourage every Christians to read the New Testament in 2019.

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I have used for years the 5x5x5 New Testament Bible Reading plan designed by Navigators.   This plan only takes 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

The New Testament Bible Reading plan can be found by clicking here.

In these last few days of the year – prepare.  Get a Bible, journal, and be ready on January 1, 2019, to start your journey through the New Testament.

Christmas Reminders

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Here we go!  The most intense time of Christmas is before us. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me

Here are some disconnected thoughts about Christmas:

– Do not talk about politics with your family.

– Avoid explaining the Keto diet during the Christmas meal.  Instead, pass the stuffing

– Limit time on the mobile phone when hanging with family.

– Make time to worship at a church.

– Tell more stories.

– Remember and contact someone who is hurting.

– Mediate on this phrase – “I will trust, and will not be afraid (Isaiah 12:2).”

–  With your conversation, respect those who are not in the room.

–  Listen well.

–  Cast you worries upon the Lord, because He cares (1 Peter 5:7)

–  Laugh as much as possible.

Sermons on Joy can be tough to hear

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This Sunday (December 16) we will focus on the Advent theme of Joy as we prepare for Christmas!

Here are some thoughts about joy that may not make Sunday’s message:

– When one is suffering from depression, messages on joy often feel very painful.  For those under this cloud, we acknowledge your pain and remind you that there is a company of past and present saints who understand the paradox of living the Christian life while suffering from this condition.

– Even in the most dire of circumstances, there can be odd moments of joy.  The fall of 2003 was one of the darkest periods of my life after losing both my dad and grandmother and having a very unexpectedly sick newborn. Yet during that season I still enjoyed good meals, meaningful conversations, and touches of friendship.

– As much as we are able, we should choose joy.  Life is harsh and pain is unavoidable.  So, laughter and enjoyment under the Lordship of Christ reflects His glory to our world.