Week Twenty-Five, 2021

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 15:15

In a recent well publicized trial, when a juror mentioned that he prayed about his decisions in life, the judge asked if he prayed for divine guidance in making his decisions. The juror said he relied on the Holy Spirit to guide him. When the juror said yes, he was dismissed, the judge saying that jurors should decide on the evidence and not inspiration from a higher power.

After the defendant was found guilty, his attorney moved for a new trial, the court denied the motion saying that jurors should be “ordinary people.” Translated, that says that Christians are not ordinary people.

I served for twenty-one years in public office and voted thousands of times and always prayed for God’s guidance in the decisions I made. I guess that some consider the new norm that Christians are not ordinary people.

God revealed his Son to ordinary people like me who, upon experiencing the Christ Child, responded with praise to God and by sharing the good news.

Consider the parents of Jesus. From biblical accounts we gather that Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, is a man of humble origins. He is from the line of King David, but his trade as a carpenter doesn’t allow him to live in a palace or have a high status politically or socially. In today’s terms he is the equivalent of a construction worker.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, is also of humble origins. She too descends from King David, but the picture Scripture paints is of a young teenage girl with no special status.

A second group of individuals that are introduced to the Christ Child is the shepherds.. These men of extremely humble origins are considered to be some of the lowest of the low. They are physically isolated from others because their job requires them to be constantly in the fields with their flocks.

When it comes time to announce the birth of his Son, God the Father could have introduced him to kings and queens, to the religious leaders of the day, to the socially elite or to the economically elite. Instead, God chooses to introduce his Son to a lowly band of shepherds. Upon seeing the Christ Child, Luke records that the shepherds “spread the word concerning what had been them about this child”.

Christians are ordinary people charged with an unordinary calling. Are you like an ordinary shepherd ready and willing to spread the Word?





“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)

Praying for one another is the greatest gift we can give to our brothers and sisters in Christ and those God brings into our lives.

How many times have you had a friend or neighbor tell you about a challenge they are facing or just about their bad day?

Your first instinct might be to think of how you can help and offer your assistance to encourage them or lighten their burden. While there is nothing wrong with that, you have a much greater gift to offer that has more power and ability to help than anything you can physically do…Simply say, let me pray for you!! And, not later but now, in the moment!

It doesn’t have to be a long prayer. Just call out to God, who loves us and is waiting for us to call on Him.

When we pray for one another:

• God gives us boldness.

• He increases our love for Him and for one another.

• He rescues us, heals us, and humbles us.

• He gives us strength, lifts our burdens and uses us to lift other’s burdens.

• He spreads the Gospel.

• He answers our prayers.

Jesus never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. When we pray for one another, we lift each other up – to get through life – to get through difficulties – to get through temptation. We lift each other to the only source of real hope. We bring our burdens to God in prayer, trusting that God is good and in control of everything.

— o —

A Canadian preacher, Stephen Sheane, tells a story from two centuries ago about a military officer and his wife who were aboard a ship caught in a raging ocean storm. Seeing the frantic look in her eyes, the man tried unsuccessfully to allay her fears. Suddenly she grasped his sleeve and cried, “How can you be so calm?”

He stepped back a few feet and drew his sword. Pointing it at her heart, he asked, “Are you afraid of this?” Without hesitation, she answered, “Of course not!”

“Why not?” he inquired.

“Because it’s in your hand, and you love me too much to hurt me.”To this, he replied, “I know the One who holds the winds and the waters in the hollow of His hand, and He will surely care for us!”



Temporal excitements never last long. Dan Shock

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” MARK TWAIN

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are they who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

In all your life, you’ve never experienced a love like the love God has for you. Dan Shock

Wherever you go, there you are. You can’t escape yourself. The Minimalist

Who knows what is best for us? We don’t know. Only God knows. Dan Shock

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”


Seek His face, and you will find fulfillment of your deepest longings. Jesus Calling

When you come to Jesus, your search is over, for you have then discovered God. Dan Shock

There is no finer sensations in life that which comes with victory over one’s self. Go forward to a goal of inward achievement, brushing aside all your old internal enemies as you advance.” VASH YOUNG

Invite the Lord to inspect your life. Dan Shock

Bringing a child into our fallen world has always been an act of faith. Today is no exception. Jim Denison