Archive for December, 2013

The End of 2013

A friendly reminder to finish the year right with some wisdom as found at Proverbial Thought!

To close out this incredibly full year, I will keep it short and sweet and remember some things that happened in my life this year.

After 12 years of on-again-off-again work, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University. My journey started after high school, naturally, when I attended a semester at Olivet Nazarene University. A year after that I took some classes at Heartland Community College, took a year off before taking some more, and then taking another year off before getting a few more classes in. After getting married in 2009, I was accepted that fall to GCU’s online program doing one class at a time with only 3-4 weeks off from class each year!

The day after I finished my final class, my wife and I found out we were getting our house! It took five months to get through the financial process and two months of restoration before we could move in this past September.

We moved in one month into my first semester in graduate school, working on my Masters of Divinity in Biblical Communication. Graduate school is not easy! But I got through the first semester, and Caitlin took a class with me!

In January I was ordained.

In May I officiated my first wedding … for my sister-in-law!

I went to San Diego for the first time (with our youth group).

I signed with a talent agency for acting and modeling (weird, I know).

This was a crazy year.

However, God has taken the opportunity to work in my life through all of this.

He has taught me a deeper patience with people.

He has taught me the importance of Sabbath rest.

He has taught me the importance of gratefulness: to Him and to others, especially others.

He reminded me of the importance of trusting His sufficiency as we paid rent and mortgage for four months, two of which without income!

He reminded me of His grace as He imparted more grace through me.

He filled my wife and me with more peace, patience, and hope than we could understand during a crazy year of change!

Tonight as we host a New Year’s Eve get together in our new house, God will get that special place of honor in all of our interactions.

If you want a resolution for the new year, try this one: to walk closer with Christ each day.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness …” (Matthew 6:33)

For this next year,

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/29/2013

Search out wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

I am not big on New Years Resolutions, but really good plans for the future are pretty amazing.

The best thing you can do is resolve in your heart every day to let God change your heart and mind.

search my heart

my God

know me completely

clean me out

make my heart

O God

all for Your glory

 make me Yours

Comfort and Joy in the King – God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

Keep your joy strong with wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

It is Christmas Eve! Tomorrow we celebrate God stepping into the time to redeem His Creation. There is no better explanation of that act than today’s song.

It is at least 300 years old and may be older than that. I have not been able to find verifiable information, but I have heard that it was written by a priest who was concerned with how much of the gospel message the average person actually knew. Therefore, he put the lyrics to a tune that could be heard in many pubs.

The earliest publication of the song was in 1833 by William Sandys, and one of my favorite stories, from 1843, used it: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

God rest you merry, gentlemen.
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember, Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy, Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Why I like this carol …

My first liking is that it tells the birth story of Jesus. It reminds us of the hope we have in His life and death, that He came “to save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray.”

My second liking comes from the title, which really means “God keep/make you joyful/content/hopeful/happy, people of God”. That is some paraphrasing on my part, but it is based on literal meanings of the words “rest” and “merry”.

This song is a reminder that God did not wait for us to achieve the impossible or seek Him out. He came to us, He redeemed us with His own life and blood, and He will return to redeem all of Creation. We should be joyful and hopeful knowing that our Lord wins and has won. He came and will come again!

Merry Christmas – Almost literally, “Joy comes from Christ’s suffering.”

Remember that is what “Merry Christmas” means, for the Christ-Mass, is the remembrance that Jesus Christ was born that He may die to bring us second birth … and He will come again!


Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/22/2013

Worship God through wisdom, some of which can be found at Proverbial Thought!

Seeing as this week we celebrate Christmas, let us do what the Magi did. Christmas is a time to remember the coming of Christ, the first time when He came to die and the second time when He returns to make all things new.

That deserves our awe, admiration, and worship.

i only want to worship You 

i only want to worship You
You are the only One worthy
i cannot help but worship
for Your matchless love compels me
i will worship You every moment
through my actions and speech
i will worship You alone
until Your glory is all i see
i will worship the One True God
for You are all i need
i only want to worship You
for all of eternity

Let Us Adore The King – O Come All Ye Faithful

Adore the Wisdom of God by finding some wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

We continue looking at some of my favorite Christmas Carols and why.

I have taken us through several songs and poems which have touched my life in some way, but honestly it is most Christmas carols and many Christmas songs that impact my life by simply being about Christmas and, specifically, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That is why there is the ever-slightest shift this week.

The carol this week did not have a dramatic impact on my life, but it certainly begins to explain some of what I feel and believe.

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God’s holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Why I Like This Carol …

… is that it is a call to celebration and worship.

There is something inherently joyous and celebratory about it, many times because the music is very upbeat and celebratory. Regardless of the music, those words just draw all focus to Jesus. They are a call to sing and celebrate the Savior of the world. They are a call to worship the Lord of all.

Join with me in celebrating and worshiping our God who saves us!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/15/2013

Get a taste of wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

You shall have no other gods before me” and “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them” were the first to of the Ten Commandments.

God had to give them, because … things have not changed even 3,500 years later.

During the Christmas season, to use the cliché, let us remember the reason the season: Jesus the Christ, and not our gifts and finances.

paper idol  

throughout history
man has rebelled
against the One
Who created it all
they created their own
gods they could control
metal and wood
all kinds of idols
in our world now
we have our false gods
some still look the same
silver and gold
some are of wood
others of fabric
idols of flesh
and even two sticks
the idol today
that is popular
is moved around
on slips of paper
these idols have
many different
sizes and colors
and also prints
sometimes only
the evidence
of these idols
of dollars and cents
will be found
instead of a clear
and physical
legal tender
our paper idol
controls our lives
even when we
try to deny
but in opulence
and in scarcity
all people find
they are in need
though some may not
worship this thing
our culture has made
money the king

If you look for Me at Christmas

Bless yourself with some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

This is just a small break from my favorite Christmas carols as I share this interesting item.

I am not really sure where this came from.

This was e-mailed to me about two years ago, and I saved the picture. I share it with you now.

May we remember this Christmas season, in all of the hustle and bustle, in all of the craziness that life brings (regardless of the season), in all of the things that are wrong in this world, that Christ came into this world as a baby, but He saved this world through His death on the cross. May we remember that He rose to life again, and one day He will return to redeem us!

May we remember that He has not left us alone in the mean time!

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b)

If you look for Me at Christmas