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A teacher friend of mine asked her students to make a list of questions they would like to ask Mary. Their responses included: What was Jesus’ first word? Did he ever get sick? Did Jesus ever misbehave? All legitimate questions. The fact that we can ask these questions raises an even greater one. Why did God go so far? Why did He become a human being? A chief reason is God wants you to know that he gets you. The Bible says in the Book of Hebrews that he understands how you feel and has faced what you face (4:15-16). Jesus has been through weakness … Listen Now

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If you want to see people on the edge of insanity, just watch the way families treat their babies at Christmas time! The poor child has no warning! Red furry stocking cap, goofy elfish shoes that curl at the toes. And the pictures we take! Baby snoozing under the tree…Baby on Santa’s lap…Santa with wet spot on lap. Is not Christmas the story of a baby? The moment that shaped all others? Mary’s eyes falling on the face of her just-born son. The first to whisper, So this is what God looks like! Never in mankind’s wildest imaginings did we consider that God would enter the world … Listen Now

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No day is accidental or incidental. No acts are random or wasted. Look at Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem. A king ordered a census. Joseph was forced to travel. Mary, as round as a ladybug, bounced on a donkey’s back. The hotel was full. The hour was late. The event was one big hassle. Yet out of the hassle, hope was born. It still is. I don’t like hassles. But I love Christmas because it reminds us of the heart-shaping promises of Christmas. Long after the guests have left, and the carolers have gone home, and the lights have come down these promises endure: God causes everything to work together … Listen Now

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In Matthew 1:23, God called himself, “Immanuel”—which means, God with us! Not just God made us; not just God thinks about us; not just God above us; but God with us. God– where we are! He breathed our air and walked this earth. God. . .with. . .us! Bethlehem was just the beginning. Jesus has promised a repeat performance: Bethlehem, Act 2. No silent night this time, however. The skies will open, trumpets will blast, and a new kingdom will begin. He will empty the tombs and melt the winter of death. Death, you die! Life, you reign! The manger dares us to believe the best is yet to be. … Listen Now

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My dad, a man of few words, told my brother and me, “Boys, Christmas is about Jesus!” In one of those bedtime, book-time moments, somewhere between the fairy tales and the monkey with the lunch pail, I thought about what he had said. I began asking the Christmas questions, and I’ve been asking them ever since! God knows what it’s like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in Jesus. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on … Listen Now

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Let the sleigh bells ring! I love Christmas. Let the carolers sing. The more Santas the merrier. I don’t complain about the crowded shops. I don’t grumble at the jam-packed grocery store. Well—it’s Christmas. I love it because someone will ask the Christmas questions. What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? The questioner may be a soldier stationed far from home. She may be a young mom who, for the first time, holds a child on Christmas Eve. The Christmas season prompts Christmas questions…and answers. … Listen Now

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Today’s problem is not necessarily tomorrow’s problem. Don’t incarcerate yourself by assuming it is. Resist self-labeling. I’m just a worrier. Gossip is my weakness. My dad was a drinker, and I guess I’ll carry on the tradition. Stop that! These words create alliances with the Devil. They grant him access to your spirit. Turn a deaf ear to the old voices and make some new choices. The Psalmist said, “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance” (Psalm 16:6). Live out of your inheritance, not your circumstance. God has already promised a victory. Paul urged us to stand “against … Listen Now

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God’s chosen vessels aren’t always gleaming and golden. They may be tarnished or cracked, broken or even discarded. They may be a Saul driven by anger, motivated to hurt. Saul was eager to root out and persecute the early Christians. But God saw possibilities in Saul and sent Ananias to teach and minister to him. What will you do when God shows you your Saul? He’s gone too far. She’s too hard.  Too addicted. Too old. No one gives your Saul a prayer. But you’re beginning to realize that maybe God is at work behind the scenes. You begin to believe. Don’t resist these thoughts. No … Listen Now

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When God locks a door, it needs to be locked. When he stuck Paul and Silas in prison, God had a plan for the prison jailer. As Paul and Silas sang, God shook the prison, and “at once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26 NIV). When the jailer realized what had happened, he assumed all the prisoners had escaped and he drew his sword to take his life. When Paul told him otherwise, the jailer brought the two missionaries out and asked, “What must I do to be saved?” (v.30 NIV). Paul told him to believe. He … Listen Now

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What is your unique assignment in life?  The Bible shows us how to answer that question.  Galatians 6:4 reads “make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (MSG). Try starting with these two questions: (1) With whom do you feel most fluent? You may be tongue-tied around children but eloquent with executives. This is how God designed you. Scripture reminds us that “God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well” (Romans 12:6 NLT). (2) For whom do you feel most compassion? God doesn’t burden us … Listen Now