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Showing posts from December, 2016

Child of Promise: The Manger King

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Child of Promise: The Manger King
Opening Illustration: A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.  After hearing about this extravagant gift, a friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles."  "She did," he replied. "But where was I going to find a fake Jeep?"
You know there is nothing fake about Christmas.  Once you peel back the layers of materialism and consumerism, there is a real story there about this baby named Jesus.  His story is real, it happened and is not fake at all.  The story of Jesus may seem logical, far fetched, but I believed that it actually happened and that it is true.  
This morning, what is your attitude towards Christmas.  Are you jaded?  Fed up with all the presents and distractions?  Are you joyful? Do you see through all the madness of the Christmas season to real reason for this time of year?  
This Christmas, Are You Jaded or Joyful?
Background and Context Isaiah 9:6 may …

Child of Promise: Hasty Shepherds

Child of Promise: Hasty Shepherds
Introduction: I want you to stop and think for a second.  What is the best news that you have ever heard?  Really think about that for a second.  Was the best news you ever heard attached to a proposal? She said “yes”.  Was the best news you have ever heard attached to a job? You’re hired! Perhaps the best news you have ever heard was attached to a special announcement.  “I’m pregnant”! “It’s a boy”! Take a second.  I want you to write, to the best of your memory, the best news that you have ever heard.  Write it right there on your outline.  
Illustration: It was just a few months ago that the Cleveland Cavaliers were down 3 games to 1 to the Golden State Warriors.  Most analysts believed that the Cavs were dead in the water. There was no way that they were going to come back to beat the Warriors.  
On June 19, 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their superstar LeBron James, clawed their way back from a three game to one deficit, won three games in…

Candlelight on the Eastern Shore

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Candlelight on the Eastern Shore
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A couple of weeks ago, my family celebrated Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  It was a great time.  A few days into the trip, the family wanted to get out and walk along the busy main street of Gatlinburg.  Many of you here have been there before.  It is a tourist trip to say the least.  Lots of shops and trinket stores line the streets.  It is fun.  One of the more popular attractions is Ripley’s Believe It or Night Odditorium (spelled with an odd because of it’s contents).


Ripley was a newspaper man who specialized in cartoons.  He parleyed his career in newspapers to a television show which would feature odd artifacts from around the world.  Ripley was an odd bird to say the least.  
On one occasion in the 1930’s, Ripley visited Africa where encounter a witch doctor.  This witch doctor possessed an odd idol.  Ripley called it the African Hate god.  This Hate god was not just any god.  It had a particular purpose.  People in surroundin…