Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kathy Mattea - There's A New Kid In Town

Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice - Dec 1

Isaiah 11:10-16 & Luke 1:39-45

Isaiah 11
On that day, Jesse's Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious.
Isa 11:11 (The Message)

Our Old Testament reading reminds us that Jesus is a banner over his people. What is a banner? It is a flag that waves proudly over those who honor the kingdom it represents. A symbol of hope and unity and joy. This Christmas season may the joyous presence of Jesus wave like a banner over your life.

Luke 1
Our New Testament reading invites us to reflect on the visit between Mary and Elizabeth her cousin and the expectant mother of John the Baptist.

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women and lessed is the child you will bear!” Luke 1:41-42 NIV

Here is a terrific example of how to "rejoice with those who rejoice" -- or in more modern parlance -- be truly happy for someone else. Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus, is now pregnant for the very first time -- and she is well past the usual child bearing age. One tradition says that she was likely in her 80s. But when Mary came to visit her and shared the great news of her own pregnancy Elizabeth showed no sign of jealousy or envy. In fact when Elizabeth heard Mary's news she was totally thrilled for her. Think carefully about all this for a minute.

Mary's child is the Messiah -- Elizabeth's is the forerunner. Mary's child is born of the Holy Spirit -- Elizabeth's child is the result of a miraculous "natural" pregnancy. Humanly speaking, Mary's miracle baby outshines Elizabeth's, yet all we see from the older cousin is excitement and praise. I love that!

God himself rewards Elizabeth's heart of selfless praise by flooding her with the presence of His Holy Spirit and by giving her a wonderful son of her own. Whenever someone you know is singled out for some special blessing and you are tempted to feel a pang of envy -- remember Elizabeth and get happy for them. It is a choice you know.

Prayer: Lord Jesus I'm just thrilled that undeserving as I am, you came to earth to show me your love. That alone should be enough to give me a supportive attitude toward others. Fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I too can learn to rejoice when others prosper. Amen

Spiritual Exercise: Write a note of encouragement to someone you know who has recently been blessed. Be truly deeply happy for them.

Draw near.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Canadian Eh?

Top Ten Signs Showing You Might be Canadian

10. You're not offended by the term "HOMO MILK" and you understand "Vico".

9. You understand the phrase "Could you pass me a serviette, I just dropped my poutine, on the chesterfield."

8. You eat chocolate bars, not candy bars.

7. You know that Casey and Finnegan were not part of a Celtic musical group.

6. You get excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.

5. You brag to Americans that: Shania Twain, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion & many more talented people, are Canadians.

4. Your ears perk up when you hear the theme song from 'Hockey Night in Canada'.

3. You know what a touque is.

2. You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

1. You know that the last letter of the English alphabet is always pronounced "Zed" not "Zee"

Any questions?
GHT -- From Feb 13/04

Thanksgiving Thoughts

The worse moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
G.K. Chesterton Common Domain November 26th, 2003

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative--or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.
Sir John Marks Templeton Common Domain November 26th, 2003

It is therefore recommended; to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor.
Samuel Adams ,November 1, 1777 adopted by 13 States, Official Thanksgiving Proclamation November 26th, 2003

Be Thankful.

Advent Devotions -- Jesse's Tree

Tuesday November 30 -- Isaiah 11:1-9 & Luke 1:26-38

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.

Isaiah 1:1-4 New International Version

One of the major themes of Advent season -- the four weeks leading up to Christmas -- is hope. During these 28 days we should feel a growing sense of holy anticipation. In that regard - even the anticipation that our culture at large feels about opening presents and festive family dinners can be our friend. As much as we complain about the seasonal preparations, about present buying and card sending and house decorating, we do them. And we enjoy them.

Those of us who are true followers of Jesus Christ also understand that there is another deeper reason we anticipate Christmas. Our deepest anticipation centers on the coming of the Messiah. He came once in history. He will come to us by His Spirit in our times of worship and prayer this holy season. And one day at the end of time He will come again to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. On Christmas Day most of us will open presents just like everyone else. But in some very sacred and special moments on that same day we will celebrate our Saviour's birth.

The Jesse Tree is an ancient method of celebrating the truth of this Old Testament passage. Jesus was a very real person from a very human family. Trace his ancestry back and you come to King David whose father was Jesse. We didn't make Him up. He wasn't a figment of someone's overworked imagination. He was the fulfillment of the prophet's ancient prediction. Jesus is the shoot who sprouted. He is the Branch who bears much fruit. He is the One on whom the Spirit of wisdom rests. There is no one else quite like Him.

Aren't you glad?

Friday, November 12, 2010

CONRACK -- The BEST Teacher movie of all time

CONRACK, directed by Martin Ritt; screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr., based on the book "The Water is Wide" by Pat Conroy; director of photography, John Alonzo; film editor, Frank Bracht; music, John Williams...

Running time: 106 minutes. This film is classified PG.

Pat Conroy . . . . . Jon Voight
Mad Billy . . . . . Paul Winfield
Mrs. Scott . . . . . Madge Sinclair
Mary . . . . . Tina Andrews
Quickfellow . . . . . Antonio Fargas
Edna . . . . . Ruth Attaway
Little Man . . . . . James O'Reare
Skeffington . . . . . Hume Cronyn

Set in 1969, based on Pat Conroy's "The Water Is Wide," the movie details the experiences of a young teacher (Jon Voight), who takes on the fifth through eighth grades in a black school on an island off the coast of South Carolina. The picture revives the hopes and frustrations of the nineteen-sixties, including the idea that deprived people may be nourished by education...

Mr. Voight plays a teacher who is battling through the web of suspicion that confronts a white outsider. At first, he's equally shocked by his students' ignorance—the four oldest in the class think that the Civil War was fought by the Germans and the Japanese—and by the grim black woman principal, who tells him, "Treat your babies stern, treat 'em tough. . . . Put your foot on 'em and keep it there" (Madge Sinclair, in an excellent performance.)

Soon he wins over the wary children and proceeds to teach them about the pyramids and Babe Ruth, the lotus position, their own genitals, the law of gravity, swimming, Brahms and Beethoven, while building their egos and their expectations of themselves...

I personally love - love - love this movie. Find it - rent it - see it -- if you can.

Outside the Walls - Year Three

This week at Timberview we are once more serving "Outside the Walls" of our church facility. In the past we have connected with a number of local community based service groups and served with them. Some pretty solid connections and partnerships have been established.

This fall we felt led to serve by identifying organizations and individuals who serve Veterans. We chose the week of Veterans Day to set it all up.

Nancy was so encouraged when she phoned the three female veterans we are going to serve this Saturday morning. They are so excited that we are coming. One said it just means a great deal to know that a local church really cares. I think that makes Jesus smile.

Don't you?

You Might Be from Michigan If...

YOU MIGHT BE FROM MICHIGAN (Or several places close to or like Michigan)

Borrowed and edited slightly from Carlee Padot's lovely Blog

1. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Michigan .

2. If you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time, you might live in Michigan .

3. If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Michigan.

4. If "Vacation" to you means going up north on I-75.

5. If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

6. If you often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

7. If you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).

8. If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

9. If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife/girlfriend knows how to use them.

10. If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

11. If you think driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

12. If you "Down South" to you means Ohio or Indiana.

13. If a brat is something you eat.

14. If you drink pop and bake with soda.

15. If your doctor tells you to drink Vernors and you know it's not medicine.

16. If you think owning a Honda is Un-American.

17. If when asked where you live - you immediately hold up the palm of your right hand and use it as a map

True - very true!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Top Ten Teacher movies

The guys over at The Jesus Creed blog published a list of their Top Ten Teacher movies as follows:

1. Freedom Writers
2. Ron Clark Story
3. Coach Carter
4. Radio
5. Dangerous Minds
6. Dead Poets Society
7. Lean on Me
8. Stand and Deliver
9. To Sir, With Love
10. Blackboard Jungle

I find it interesting that they listed "Freedom writers" number one when it was so overlooked at the box office. I personally loved it too.

I would put Mr. Holland's Opus as number one on my list. What about you?