Lu 2:8-11¶ Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Well one of my favorite times of the year is here. It is a time when many Christians focus on, celebrate and give special significance to the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I was listening to the Holy Spirit for direction on this week’s Get Together in my spirit, I heard the words from that great Hymn Joy to the World.

It would be nice if I could say that we are now entering a time of year where everything was perfect. But I know that is not true. In our family we have had love ones to go to Heaven during this time of year. As a Pastor I have been with other families when they have experienced that, or their first Christmas without someone that they loved. And while we rejoiced for those that had passed away being in Heaven we missed them and still do at this time of the year.

There are currently wars going on all over the world where there is mass loss of human life. We have also seen several serious natural disasters in our own country that people are still recovering from. Christians in many places are imprisoned for their faith. Some people have loved ones that are incarcerated. Some people have just been laid off from their jobs. I could go on and on about how Christmas is not a time in which there are no challenging situations. But I would like to share with you that because the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, born of a virgin, lived, died for the atonement for our sins, rose from the dead, and poured out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost we can rejoice in all situations and circumstances.

The Greek term for joy that the Bible uses for joy in the above passage is chara, khar-ah’. It can mean a state of joy and gladness. It can also mean that which is cause for joy and gladness.

The joy that Jesus the Savior of the world brings is that no matter whether we are experiencing something tough in our lives or whether we are in a season where we are not experiencing some of those things we can rejoice. We can rejoice that we serve a Savior that has conquered death, hell, and the grave! We can rejoice that we serve a Savior that is saving the souls of men and women and delivering them from sinful lifestyles. We can rejoice that Jesus still heals people today. We can rejoice that although we may not remember what we got for Christmas a few years ago we can remember the day that we met the Savior of the world! We can rejoice that He is still filling people with the Holy Spirit today. We can rejoice that He is still answering prayers today. Now that is glad tidings of great joy! I could make a lot longer list of things that we can rejoice about than I could the adverse things that I mentioned early.

I am hearing the refrain from another great hymn now; O Come O Come Emanuel :

Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel

shall come to you, O Israel.

After that I thought that this verse from the same song would give us reason to rejoice in this season no matter what the circumstance.

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,

and bring us comfort from afar!

Dispel the shadows of the night

and turn our darkness into light.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus as we move into this special season help us to worship You and experience You in such a way that no matter the situation, or circumstance we can rejoice remembering the words that You spoke while you were here on this earth Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”. We rejoice in that promise O King of Glory! We give You praise Blessed Messiah, Living Word!

In Jesus Name


Please keep J.J.’s dad in your prayers. He had a heart attack on Thanksgiving night. He is at home recovering. Also keep her mom in your prayers as she is still recovering from a fall back in September.

Your Friend/kinfolk


GET TOGETHER- Always Giving Thanks

GET TOGETHER- Always Giving Thanks

1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This past Sunday morning during our service we had four of our women take just a short time and share some things that they were thankful for. One shared that she was thankful for the Holy Spirit. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit as well. Others shared how God had brought them through some very challenging times. And some of the things that God had brought them through were very challenging situations.

I guess that it was in 1991 when a good friend gave me a copy of the book Prison to Praise by Merlin Carruthers that I first became acquainted with 1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. The book really stressed how important that it was to give thanks in all situations. Now I am not one that believes that God predetermines people to go out and to live in sin. I don’t believe that God is in the business of causing people to be sick. As a New Covenant believer, I believe that Jesus came that we might have life and life more abundantly. On the other hand, we do face adversity in this fallen world. We do face situations and circumstances that are a result of the fall. And we do face some situations that we might find it hard to give thanks in. But we are called to give thanks to God in all situations.

There are many things that we can thank God for while we are going through a tough situation. First, we can thank God that He is in the situation with us. He has promised us that He will not leave us: Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(NKJV)

We can be thankful that we are His children and that He loves us. 1Jo 3:1 ¶ Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

(NKJV) We can be thankful for the blood of Jesus Christ that has washed away our sins. Ro 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

I don’t know about you, but I am thankful that I am not going to Hell. Jesus spoke about Hell quiet often. He described Hell in this way as a place “Mr 9:44 “where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’ There is only one way to not go there. It comes by repenting of your sins and putting your faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to save you.

I am thankful also that I know that I will live forever. Jesus said it like this in Joh 11:25,26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” I can remember some Thanksgivings when I didn’t believe and didn’t know where that I would spend eternity. You or someone that you know may be there today. You may be like I was think that you had committed too many and too terrible of sins to be forgiven. Jesus wants you to know whether it is you, or someone that you are praying for that there aren’t too many and that they aren’t too bad for the blood to cleanse.

I think the key to being able to give thanks in all situations is being born again and knowing that God is with you. If you have been born again give Him thanks not just this weekend, but all the time. And remember what the Apostle Paul said in Col 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus there is not enough room to list all that we could thank You for. We do thank You that you have positioned us to be a people of Thanksgiving. On this Thanksgiving weekend help us to give You thanks and praise for who You are, what You have done and what You will do in the future.

In Jesus Name


Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Friend/Kinfolk




Mt 7:3-5 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?” Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

This passage comes from the Sermon on the Mount the most famous sermon that Jesus ever preached. I have said on more that one occasion it could have been the sermon that got the least amens ,or come on preach it brother of any sermon that was ever preached. And yes, I amen preachers and other brothers and sisters in Christ. But in this sermon, there is a whole lot of introspection of the heart going on.

Sometimes in leading a Bible study or small group one of the biggest challenges that I have faced is getting the group to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and not so much to get to talking about how bad everyone else is out there. And yes, there is a lot of real, real bad stuff out there.

J.J. and I are currently in our prayer life using a resource called Pray The Word 90 Prayers That Touch the Heart of God. Each day has a theme and scriptures that support the theme that we are praying about. We pray through those scriptures and then we pray the prayer that the author Tiece L. King has written based on those scriptures.

One of the things that has come out of this is that the Holy Spirit has been at work showing me areas of my heart that He desires to work in. Let me give you an example. Last week I was at a store in our area and the cashier made a mistake when the cashier gave me my change. It was a grand total of 82 cents. My first thoughts were that this is what happens when kids aren’t taught how to add and subtract without a calculator, or computer. The cashier shared with me that it was her first day. After I left out of there the Holy Spirit convicted me of the judgmental critical thoughts that I had about this young person. I asked the Lord to forgive me and to give me another chance to show the love of Jesus Christ to this person. Today He answered my prayer and allowed me to encourage this person in some way.

When we are planking other people, it hinders us from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. I am not talking about speaking truth about what is right and what is wrong. But we are living in a culture that is constantly critical of someone, or something.

This morning I was listening to a message entitled what happens when Jesus Comes To Town. The first place that He will go to is to the people that are called by His Name. 1Pe 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? “(NKJV)

As believers that have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us I believe that the Holy Spirit desires to get those planks out of our eyes so that we are in position to be used to bring people into the Kingdom. What if Jesus had a plank in His eyes when the woman was caught in adultery? What if He had a plank in His eyes when He saw Matthew at the Tax Booth, Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree, and Peter on the night that Peter denied Him?

Well we know that the Lord Jesus was the sinless Son of God. We know also He desires for us to be a people that can look at hurting people, not be critical, and to point them to Him. Because to be honest He does want us to be in position to help people to get the speck out of their own eye. But, if we have the plank in our own eyes, we won’t be able to be used by the Holy Spirit to remove that speck.

So today let’s be counter cultural. In a finger pointing, critical, war of words culture let’s be salt and light. Don’t compromise truth. But trust the Holy Spirit to not only work in you, but as you pray believe that He will work in those that we may be most critical of.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus we live in a sinful rebellious world. It can be very hard not to let our hearts get as calloused as the hearts of those who are in the world. We know that the healing for the calloused heart, the broken heart, the wounded heart comes through a Spirit filled relationship with You. Help us to get the planks out of our own eyes. Help us to be used by You to point others to You the Remover not only of the speck, but the plank as well.

In Jesus Name


Tell someone this week what Jesus has done for you.

Your Friend/Kinfolk


GET TOGETHER- We Are Not Left Alone

GET TOGETHER- We Are Not Left Alone

Joh 16:5,7 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (NKJV)

Departures can be hard. This past Sunday as we were getting ready to leave Springfield, Missouri after a great visit with our son Jake, his wife Tommye and our eighteen-month-old grandson Eli it seemed like Eli was about to cry when we left. This morning as I left home our granddaughter Eden was being so cute that it was hard to leave her even though I knew that I would see her again later today.

Departures can be hard for us in various ways. I will never forget one time when I was getting on a flight in Memphis, Tennessee to go on a Mission trip getting one last look at J.J. at the airport. I was praying that I would see her again here on this earth, but I also knew that I would see her in Heaven if I didn’t. So, with the disciples it must have been very hard to have walked with the Lord Jesús the incarnate God and hear Him say that He was getting ready to go back Home to the Father. They had watched Him heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and set the captives free.

However, although they would not fully understand at this point, He had some real good news for them. He is sending a Helper. The Greek term here for Helper is parakletos, par-ak’-lay-tos. It means one who helps, by consoling, encouraging, or mediating on behalf of. Jesus is reminding them of a promise that He has already made to them:

Joh 14:16-19 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–

“the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.”

Today is election day in our nation. I can’t tell you how the elections are going to come out. Here is what I can tell you. As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ we have a Helper that is always with us. He is here with us today. He will be with us tomorrow. He will be with us forever!

They needed to hear this. Because Jesus had also spoke some other words to them as well. Joh 16:1 -3 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.” There would come a time when they would face persecution for preaching, teaching, healing, and being used in deliverance in His Name. There are people that are facing persecution for that today. I pray that we don’t face that type persecution. But I also pray that should we that we be as faithful as the disciples were after they were empowered with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Because the same promises that He made to them we can stand on as well.

I like these words from an old Gospel Hymn Never Alone

He died for me on the mountain,

For me they pierced His side,

For me He opened the fountain,

The crimson, cleansing tide;

For me He’s waiting in glory,

Seated upon His throne,

He promised never to leave me,

Never to leave me alone.

Today good friends you may have recently had someone to leave this walk of life. The Lord wants you to know that you are never alone. You may have been called by God to some task that seems like you are going to be way in over your head. God wants you to know that you are not alone. You may be facing some persecution because of your faith. The Lord wants you to know that you are never alone. And praise God for the great, awesome, and wonderful good times that we get to experience in Christ! In those we are not alone. He is there rejoicing with us!

Let us Pray

Lord there may be changes going on in our lives of various kinds. Sometimes these can be scary. It may be a child that is away at college. It may be a child or spouse in the military. No matter what we are experiencing we thank you Lord Jesus that You have promised us that we are never alone. Thank you for sending the Comforter. We praise Father-Son- and Holy Ghost for the eternal love, comfort and fellowship that we have now and forever!

In Jesus Name


We love you all!

Your Friend/Kinfolk