Always the Plan

This morning we kick off a brand-new teaching series with the Advent season fully in view. When we are celebrating Advent, we are celebrating the season of preparing for the arrival of Jesus. But understanding that just got me thinking: How did God Himself prepare for Jesus’ arrival and what exactly does it mean that He prepared for it? Starting this morning, in this series we’ll explore God’s plans and how they worked themselves out over the course of human history all with our salvation in mind. To get you thinking about complicated plans and to have a little fun together, check out this YouTube video and then read on.

Always the Plan

So, wasn’t that cool earlier? Can you imagine how much work went into just setting that up? I’ve got to admit: If I took the amount of time involved in setting up that contraption—I mean, it spanned something like four different rooms of that house and then went outside—I’d have a lot of trouble pulling the trigger to start it. It kind of makes you wonder just how many times he got it started and then had to start over because something didn’t quite work; or how many times everything worked except the final ball didn’t make it into the cup. Yikes! Talk about monumentally frustrating.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 18:22

“A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

I don’t know about you, but yesterday was different for me. I didn’t do the normal things I do in the normal places or ways I do them. It wasn’t a bad day, and in fact it was a good day topped off by snuggling up with the two boys who are still willing to snuggle up with the third nearby watching the sequel to The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix (which I highly recommend). But it wasn’t normal. If it wasn’t a day rooted in gratitude, though, it wouldn’t have been a good day. Gratitude really does make a world of difference. I hope you’ve seen that this week. I hope more you’ve learned to practice it. At least, I hoped you’ve seen enough to encourage you to want to get started on it. Next week we’ll start something new and with the season of Advent in view like we did last year. As for today, here’s one more thing for which I’m thankful.

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Morning Musing: Psalm 100:4-5

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever; his faithfulness, through all generations.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Today is the day: Black Friday’s Eve! No? Kick-off to Christmas? Still not doing it for you? Fine, it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Day! Okay, okay, I know what today is. Today is Thanksgiving. This is the day our nation has had set aside in some form of fashion for giving thanks (exactly to whom and for what is worthy of some attention another time) since the very earliest days of our nation. I suspect you have many traditions already set in place for today (plans that probably include our culture’s three great F’s—family, food, and football), but I hope you have some time set aside to be intentionally grateful and to practice that gratitude in some tangible ways. As for me, here’s another thing for which I am thankful.

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Morning Musing: Proverbs 18:24

“One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Another day and another reason to be thankful. Today we’re going to be talking about something you really can’t do without, but which far too many folks are trying. Much research has shown the negative impact of a lack in this area. We live in a world today, though, where the very essence of this thing is misunderstood and twisted in ways that make having it in place in our lives much more difficult than it should be. So what is it? Here goes…

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Morning Musing: Psalm 127:3-5

“Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, offspring, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Happy is the man who has filled his quiver with them. They will never be put to shame when they speak with their enemies at the city gate.” ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

This being Thanksgiving week, I thought it would be only appropriate to spend a little more intentional time than usual reflecting on some of the things for which I am most thankful. Four days surely isn’t anywhere in the universe of enough time to cover a full list, but it’s a start. As we go, allow me to invite you to join me in making your own list. There is power in gratitude. If you will start a bit of a habit this week, I guarantee it will serve you well. That all being said, let’s get to the gratitude.

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