December 2012

The Way of Peace

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"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace" (Luke 2:14).

Mother Teresa stood near the podium to receive the acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize. The presenter asked this devout woman who had given her life for the poor of India, "Mother Teresa, what can we do to help promote world peace?"

She answered thoughtfully, but with characteristic simplicity, "Go home and love your family."

Holiness and Isolationism - A Continual Temptation

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On a beautiful day in South Carolina, near where we lived and served as pastor, my family and I headed into the Blue Ridge foothills. As we drove, a little Christian store with "holiness" prominently displayed on its sign caught my attention. We pulled over and walked into the place. I observed the woman working there had on a long dress with uncut hair piled neatly on her head. I commented, "I couldn't help but notice the word 'holiness' on your sign. I'm a holiness pastor! In the Church of the Nazarene!

In the Fullness of Time

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Among its other joys, the Advent season invites us into the setting of Jesus' first coming - not a Roman palace, but a cramped, dirty stable in a hamlet named Bethlehem. A single fact measures the distance between that world and ours - the first century lacked electricity. No electricity? No artificial lighting to extend the day. No electricity? No power tools, appliances, TVs, computers, or cell phones. Trains, planes, automobiles, steam-and-diesel-powered ships were far in the future.

The Greatest Christmas Gift of All

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An elderly woman was struggling with her first Christmas alone. Her husband had died of cancer just a few months earlier. Now, several days before Christmas, she was almost snowed in by a brutal weather system. She felt terribly alone - so much so she decided she was not going to decorate her home for Christmas. No tree this year. No lights. But something changed. The doorbell rang later that afternoon and there was a friendly delivery boy with a box.

He said, "Mrs. Stella Thornhope?" She nodded and he said, "Would you sign here?"