Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Present. Past or past perfect?

The Missus got me a Samsung camera for Christmas.  It is no wonder Sam sung.  I see his name on just about everything these days.  Of course, I think it should say "Sam sang," or perhaps even, "Sam has sung."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Making Christmas Last

Wouldn't it be great if Christmas lasted all year long?

Letdown.  It's over; a lot of work for just one day.  Christmas is excitement leading to exhaustion.

  • It is possible for Christians to have a Christmas spirit that lasts all year long.  
Isaiah 9:6-7

For Christmas all year long

  1. Think about Jesus all year.  
  2. Have daily gift exchanges.
God's kingdom will not fade; no disappointment.  Christ's government will last forever.
We long for peace.  In Christ resides all authority and power forever.

Consider 1) the kingdom that is, and 2) the kingdom that is to come.
The first should be alive and well in our hearts and souls. "In my heart there rings a melody!"  The kingdom is in us.  Live selflessly.  In the second, we shall reign with Christ!

To make Christmas last.  (Matthew 2, the account of the wise men bearing gifts, worshipping the Christ child.)
A)  Christ is the center of our worship not just at Christmas, but all the time.  The worship of the magi was not about the season, but about the Person of Christ.

Christ needs to be center-stage in all the decisions of our lives.  Our entire lives are to revolve around who He is!

B) Gift exchanges every day.  By using our gifts, talents, we give them back to God.
  • It is easy to talk about, a battle to live.
Despite challenges, our focus remains on Christ.


Start putting God first every day.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday Morning

Friday, December 26, 2014

Now you see it. . .

And for Sony's "Interview," the greatest promo since Barnum put barkers in front of the sideshow tents.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Warr

She is getting something for Christmas!  But it is possible that she thinks old Bob has forgotten her.  *Tehe*

I sneaked into the city while she was engrossed in one of her mystery novels, wrapped the puppy* while she was at the grocery store, hid it away until now.

So this morning, I will say Merry Christmas to her.  Saying the same to you now.  But I am not giving you a present.

*A manner of speaking only.  It is not really a puppy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

20th Century Revisited

I wonder how I would have "turned out" had my mother posted "cute" pictures of me on facebook every time I turned a wheel, all her friends like, "Too cute," or "Precious."

I shudder to think.

Another of the many blessings of having grown up before cell phones, or digital pictures, or computers, or the internet; before facebook.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Greatest Gift

God has so much for us.
Traditions are fun.  Christmas comes with lots of memories, some joyful, some painful.
Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The people were looking forward to Messiah, kept the hope alive even as there followed these times with times of darkness, times of struggling.

Then: A baby was born!  John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

But when he finally came, they missed it.  John 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Christ was nailed to the cross, he bled, he died for your sins, and mine.
John 3:16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Christmas story is not just about a baby, but it is about a person who came to save us.
A reminder:  Jesus is coming again!
The question is:  Are you prepared?  You have to be ready.  Believe; repent.  Turn your back on sin, turn your face toward God.  Stay prepared, we do not know when he will return.
God offers grace and mercy to all.
Christ is greater than any other gift.  The Gift cost God more than you can imagine.
We are undeserving.
Some need to make preparation; He will return.
Are you prepared?

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yeah, right.

Ring-- ring.  It was the spouse's cell, and since I had seen it in passing and knew where it was, I answered it.
"Dees ees Mechrosoft techneecal department.  May I spik to owner of the computer, plis?"
"You are calling from where?"
"Thees ees Mechrosoft; they heff techneecal department.  May I spik to owner of the computer, plis?"
"What computer?"
Click (from the caller)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where's your stylebook? or your speller?

CBS Evening News.

Reader says  ...the Pope's pivotal role...

Banner in background, Picture of the Pope, underneath which, in block letters
Pivotal Roll

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Humbug Theology: Discouragement

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

  • Do you feel like a Grinch?
  • Do you think anyone would describe you as a Grinch?
  • Have you ever been called a Grinch?
Unhappy people
  1.  believe life is hard.
  2.  believe most people can't be trusted.
  3.  concentrate on what is wrong.
  4. harbor jealousies
  5. strive to control life.
  6. worry
  7. gossip and complain.
So, are you happy?

When we pray, do we spend a lot of time on problems and little time on praising?

Isaiah 9:2-4  Emmanuel: God with us.  How great things are when God is with us!

Have you ever felt gloomy, had a bad day; felt everything you do is a failure?  Christ wants to bring you out of darkness and into His glorious light.  To do something in your life that changes everything, you must rejoice.

Pick up and move on; our joy is in the Lord!

His light pierces every shadow of darkness

Isaiah tells us what joy looks like.  He compares it to harvest time.  The preparation and sowing is labor intensive; harvest means everything:  the labor is not in vain!  Rejoice

Joy is not in the struggle of sowing, but in the harvest.  Sow in tears, but reap in joy.

That thing robbing you of joy:  God will do a work in you.  You pray in tears, reap in joy.

Too, Isaiah compares joy to victory in battle, the dividing of plunder and rejoicing in conquest.

James said Consider it pure joy when you face trials.
  • Temptation attacks our weak spot, comes from the temptor, or from within.
  • Trials come to test strength, and to strengthen; from the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is our strength.  Hardships and struggle precede joy.

Advent:  celebration of Him whose coming brought light and joy to the world.  
Advent: points to His coming again.  He will reap the harvest of believers.  We are victors in Christ.

The question is:
Is everything good between you and the Lord?

"If you have no joy, there is a leak in your Christianity somewhere."
--Billy Sunday

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, December 12, 2014

Culture in Fly Over Country

I believe I just heard this on the local news.  The Board of Directors of the Museum of Art just announced a new rate structure for admission.  Adult ticket goes from zero dollars to eighteen dollars.  Can that be right?  What is the percentage of increase? The mathematician would say that is undefined.  The sociologist should say it is unconscionable, effectively further limiting cultural opportunities for those who have the fewest such opportunities in the first place.

Or am I reading this all wrong?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Humbug Theology: It's All Good

Humbug Theology:  It's All Good

To the contrary, the Christmas season is a time of Chaos and Distress.
Isaiah 9  Christ is the Prince of Peace.  If we are to be like Him, we must have peace filling our lives.

Life is crazy.  The stress of the season takes over and fills every aspect of our lives.

Even in the church, Christmas often is not what it is meant to be.

Peace is defined by tranquility.  Shalom means to be well or whole.

All is well-- wherever Christ is Lord, there is peace.

"Christ not only prayed for peace, he bled for peace.  He paid for peace."--Thomas Watson

Peace is a gift we have failed to unwrap.  When you are overanxious, ask "Is He Lord of my life?"  When He sets up rule in your heart, there is peace.

Ask these three things.
  1. Is there peace between you and God?  (Colossians 1)
  2. Is there peace in your own heart? (2 Thessalonians 3)
  3. Is there peace with others?
Psalm 34:41 Seek Peace and pursue it.
We need to seek Christ, and pursue Him.

Lay aside everything, so that all may be well.  Thus with chaos all around we may respond "It is well."

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

(The congregation responded with singing "It is Well."  Very moving.)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Debate 101

Panelist:  I really don't understand why this issue is so controversial.

  • Just the sort of thing one wants to present in a discussion.  It is an expression of extreme arrogance.  If you don't agree with my opinion, then you are flat wrong.  Guaranteed to short-circuit any rational discussion.
As a point of interest, I agree with the position this individual was taking, but her statement is inappropriate in a debate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Only the rich know that money can't buy happiness.--Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Rispetto, 2011