Archive for December 2013

A Hillbilly Christmas Story

December 13, 2013

A Hillbilly Christmas Story – Steven Callis

Back yonder when Caesar Augustus decided it was high time to figer out how many folks was a livin’ in the vicinity of the Roman world, all the clans and their kin went to his home town to git counted.

So Joe Bob, known as Joseph in them days, wandered up from Nazareth, where him and his kin was a livin’, to Judea, at a place called Bethlehem.  Cause his roots go all the way back to David’s house, and all his kin was of David, that’s where him and Mary Jo went to git counted.  Mary Jo was pert near ready to have their first young ‘un.

Wouldn’t ya know it, that they was stuck in Bethlehem when the baby decided it was time fer him to be borned. Turns out all the hotels was full, and they was havin’ to sleep in the ol’ barn out back. Well, she birthed that boy, her first young ‘un, wrapped ‘im up real good and put ‘im right there in the feedin’ trough.

Well, there was some sheep farmers workin’ out in the fields one night when a angel of the Lord just showed up out a nowhere, and them farmers was skeerd!  Then that angel spoke up an’ said, “Ya’ll don’t need to be skeerd a start.  I’m a gonna tell ya somethin’ that’ll make you-ins and everbody else happy as a lark.  Today a Savior was born, and He is Christ the Lord.  Go take a look fer yourself.  He’ll be all wrapped up and layin’ in a feedin’ trough.

Then, all a sudden, a whole bunch a angels showed up and started singin’: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to men.”  Then all them farmers high tailed it to town where they seen it fer themselves: Mary Jo, Joe Bob, and their young ‘un which they called Jesus.  Soon as they seen it and exchanged a few pleasantries, they run out and told everbody they seen, you know, about all this that they’d been privy to.  An’ ever last one who heered the story was down right tickled about it, and give praise to God.  But Mary Jo, now she just took to ponderin’ all them things in her heart.

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Kicking the Kicker

December 3, 2013
Just Thinking: Many football fans tuned in to watch the Alabama-Auburn “iron bowl” last Saturday.  This annual barn burner was a highly anticipated match up this year as #1 ranked Alabama faced #4 Auburn.  It was a good game, with an unexpected and exciting finish, as the Auburn player ran the ball 100+ yards on the last play of the game to win by 6 points.

I will skip all the details of what made the game so exciting; you can find the highlights at ESPN or on youtube.  I will also omit some of the accompanying news and fallouts of the results of the game, which include an Alabama fan poisoning two prestigious trees on the Auburn campus, and a female Bama fan killing another Bama fan for not being upset enough about their defeat.

But there was much focus on the Alabama kicker who missed 2 field goals and had the third attempt blocked.  Though he had made 12 of 13 tries over the course of the season, it was of no consequence as “twitters” severely bashed him with their freedom of speech technology.  He also received several death threats because of his poor performance.  I read a few of the tweets, and it is disgusting what some people will write .

I have no stake in Bama football, but I felt so bad for him when he missed his 2nd attempt, and then to have one blocked.  And I know he felt absolutely horrible.  So I was glad to see his teammates come to his aide and support in the face of these unruly, unsympathetic fans.

The NT makes it quite clear that in the church we are not about kicking someone when they are down.  The command is to gently restore those who have sinned.  We are not judges, we are advocates.  The Body of Christ is a place for healing and growing, not for sentencing. 

But even better news is that God Himself is for us, and not against us.

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed are those whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”  Romans 4:7-8

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”   2 Corinthians 5:18-19

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”  Hebrews 4:15