Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas is over...


The story is told of the man who sat down on Christmas evening and said - "Whew, Christmas is over for another year." To which his young daughter said - "Not over, but just the start for the year."

The peace, joy and love - the concern for others - all of this should not end at midnight on Christmas night until next year, however it should carry on for the whole year.

Let's have the Christmas Spirit (God's Holy Spirit) living in us for the whole time and we will find the world a better place. So, let's join one another in saying - Merry Christmas each and every day. And even better - let us live it.

For Kingdom Education,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day


Today, I will let the Scriptures say it all.

Luke 2: 1-7 (KJV):

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

For Kingdom Education,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Little Children shall lead us


I received the following from a dear friend, Ron Angel, and would like to share it with you -

"We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake ? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'"

May we see others through the eyes of Jesus this Christmas Season.

For Kingdom Education,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Prince of Peace


Saw a short video at TRBC today in a message about Jesus - the Prince of Peace. This video will speak volumes to your heart. Watch and let God work. Click on the blog title and it will take you there.

For Kingdom Education,

Friday, December 19, 2008

John's Testimony


John 1: 29 - 34 (HCSB): The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about: 'After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.' I didn't know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to Israel."
And John testified, "I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. I didn't know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!"

This is our last day before Christmas Break. I hope that no one is planning on taking a break from being a testimony for Jesus. Notice in John's testimony - he shared what was real to him, and what had happened to him. That's all God asks of us. We don't have to have all the theological answers - just share what God has done for us.

Come back refreshed from the break. Enjoy family and friends. Focus upon the reason for the season. Be a voice in your wilderness. Be a testimony. See you in January.

For Kingdom Education,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

John prepares the way


We have been talking about the Birth of John the Baptist for the last two days. The book of Mark starts off telling about his preparing the way for the Messiah as Isaiah prophesied. Read Mark 1: 1-8.

In this passage, hear these words: "John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. He was preaching: 'Someone more powerful than I will come after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of His sandals. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'"

John may have appeared different, he may have sounded thunderous, but the important point is - he told others about Christ. And, by the power of the Holy Spirit, people flocked to hear and accept the message. Our task is to tell others about Christ. In the Christmas Season we can get so caught up in the gifts, we lose sight of the task before us. Sharing the Messiah. Telling others how to find Christ. Being "a voice of one crying out in the wilderness...."

Today, see who God puts in your path to share with them about how to receive forgiveness of sins and to gain the eternal present of salvation.

For Kingdom Education,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Zachariah's Song


In Luke 1: 67-80, we read the song of praise that John's father offers up to God. In verses 76-80 (HCSB) we read: "And child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God's merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel."

John was to go before the Messiah to give people knowledge of salvation. Zachariah realized it was because of God's mercy that we have the opportunity for forgiveness. And, John would point people to the One who could provide this forgiveness.

In this Christmas season, let us all be "Johns" - pointing others to the One who came to shine a light upon our sins and to light the way to salvation. Let the Holy Spirit direct you today with those who you come in contact with. Show them the Light.

For Kingdom Education,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Birth of John


Luke 1: 62-66: "So they motioned to his father to find out what he wanted him to be called. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote: HIS NAME IS JOHN. And they were all amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue [set free], and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard about [him] took [it] to heart, saying, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the Lord's hand was with him."

"Indeed, the Lord's hand was with John." These last seven words are written prophetically and factually. The people were amazed at what God had done with the family and later with John himself. This was definitely a special person.

In this season, as we read this passage, let us be reminded that God has a plan for each of our lives. It may not be as spectacular as John's - but He has a plan. And part of that plan is to be a forerunner of Jesus to friends, family and acquaintances that we cross paths with. As today's forerunner, we need to introduce others to Jesus, and live such a life that they will be seeking to know Him.

So -- get out there and forerun!

For Kingdom Education,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mary's Song


Luke 1 : 46 - 48a : "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, because..."

Luke 1: 46-56 is often referred to as the Magnificant of Mary. In this song, she praises God for the wonderful thing He had done - to her and for all of mankind. She realized exactly who she was carrying. She had the privilege that all Jewish woman wanted - the privilege of bearing the Messiah. Mary did not find the prospect of being looked ridiculed important. She did not find the prospect of being an outcast important. She did not even appear concerned that her relationship with Joseph might be broken. She praised God because she was to give birth to the Messiah.

When God gifts us with a task - do we look at it as a privilege or a burden? How do we respond to the work God gives us? It's easy to be excited if we are the center of positive attention - but what if it costs us something?

Today, read this passage and meditate upon this young girl's song of praise to her wonderful God.

For Kingdom Education,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Word Became Flesh


John 1: 14 (HCSB): "The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

The Word became flesh. The New Living Translation says: "So the Word became human and made his home among us." John 1:1 tells us that this Word is Jesus Christ, and that He is God. God became human. God "moved into the neighborhood" as The Message puts it. He is here with us.

There is often times when we want someone with flesh and bones to help us, to hear us, to be with us. We are reminded in this passage that God did this. And, He is still with us today in the form of His Holy Spirit.

Today, think about how different things would be if Jesus was walking beside in the flesh - and realize that He is walking inside you in the Spirit. Now live the life that you saw differently.

For Kingdom Education,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mighty Answer to Prayer


Luke 1:11 - 17 (HCSB): "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

In answer to their many prayers, God granted Zechariah and Elisabeth a son. But, not just any son, the forerunner of the Messiah. It took many years before God responded to their prayers, and as is typical for most of us, Zechariah couldn't believe it when God answered.

What have you been praying for for years? Are you still seeking God to answer your prayer? Stay the course, He will answer Yes, No, or I have something better. In their case He had something extremely better. Hold on. Pray on. Trust His heart to provide the best.

For Kingdom Education,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Your Voice


Isaiah 40: 1-5 (HCSB): "A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. "

We spoke of John the Baptist yesterday, and today we see where the Scriptures describes what he is sent to do. He is the voice crying out in the wilderness. He is proclaiming the coming of the King.

In those days, when the King would come to visit a town, they would go before him and smooth out the road. They would proclaim that the King was coming. John had that task. Smooth out the road and proclaim His coming.

Today, we need to proclaim to the world around us that the King has come - and better still - He is coming again.

Consider how you can be the voice crying in today's wilderness - so that others can hear.

Foe Kingdom Education,

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye


Did you ponder the truth of God coming to earth? Today, let us consider that He did not come unannounced.

Malachi 3: 1 (HCSB): ""See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me."

The Old Testament gives us a number of prophecies about the first coming of Christ. And in these prophecies, it was told that one would come and announce His coming. In hind sight we can see that this one is John the Baptist. John came proclaiming that the Messiah was in their mist. And many ignored him.

We are to be God's messengers to a lost and dying world. We are to proclaim that He came, is in our midst, and will come again. And many will ignore us. However, that doesn't mean that we stop being what God called us to. We are messengers. And this season of Christmas gives us an universal opportunity to proclaim the truth.

Today, take the time to share with someone that Christ has come, is here, and is coming again.

For Kingdom Education,

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Virgin will be with child


Over the next two weeks, I will be using Ruth Jorritsma's Advent Reading Calendar as the basis for my devotional thoughts. If you would like a complete listing of readings - contact her at

Isaiah 7:14 (HCSB): "Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive,
have a son, and name him Immanuel."
One area that skeptics love to attack is the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. They tell us it is biologically impossible. And, I have to agree. However, with God nothing is impossible (Matt. 19:26). If we leave God out of the equation, it couldn't happen. Nevertheless, God is the center part of this equation.
The Virgin Birth is what tells us that Jesus was 100% God (Father) and 100% human (Mother). It tells us He has no sin nature. It tells us that He is different from all other humans who have walked this earth. He is what the name listed says - Immanuel - God with us.
Ponder the truth of God coming to earth for you.
For Kingdom Education,

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mission Minded Children - Part Two


Yesterday, we listed ten distinctives of mission-minded children. Today, lets see the remaining nine that Ann Dunnagun listed.

A mission minded child...
  • ...has a reputation for thoroughly enjoying the Bible sword drills and memory verse contests at church.
  • ...puts extra money in the monthly missions offering and feels extra good inside.
  • ...thinks it could be fun to sleep in a mud hut in Africa!
  • ...reads all the way through the Bible by the age of ten (or eleven or twelve)--and is excited to start again!
  • ...stares at the photos in the new geography textbook or magazine and imagines climbing to the top of that Egyptian pyramid, snorkeling in those tropical-blue waters, and giving a new outfit to that poor boy with the ripped-up shirt.
  • ...befriends the new kid at school.
  • ...thinks beyond the "box" of what's merely expected and hopes to do something big, or something little, for God.
  • ...wants to obey (even when no one is looking).
  • ...loves Jesus! (1)
Let's seek to instill these traits in our children. It's what God wants.

For Kingdom Education,

(1) Ann Dunagan, The Mission Minded Child: Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God's Purpose (Colorado Springs: Authentic Publishing, 2007, pp. 2-4)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mission Minded Children


The Lower School spent two days at the ACSI Convention in Washington, D.C. right before Thanksgiving. The emphasis was on Transforming lives. We are called to reach children with the good news, and to help them become Mission minded in this world.

In her book The Mission Minded Child: Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God's Purpose (Colorado Springs: Authentic Publishing, 2007, pp. 2-4), Ann Dunagan lists some of the distinctives of kids who are developing a heart for missions.

A mission minded child...
  • ...dreams of fulfilling God's destiny.
  • ...May want to become a missionary--or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother--as long as its what God wants.
  • ...prays for that next-door neighbor.
  • not a picky eater!
  • ...takes home a photo magnet from the visiting missionary family and puts it on the kitchen refrigerator.
  • healthy, active, and adventurous.
  • ...spends a summer night sleeping outside on the trampoline, gazes up at a sky filled with twinkling stars, and realizes God's plan is infinitely bigger than his or her own backyard.
  • ...imagines rollerblading on the Great Wall of China!
  • ...recognizes the names of David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, and Loren Cunningham.
  • ...knows how to use chopsticks.
This is the first ten things she lists - tomorrow I will list the remaining nine. Do your students and children exhibit any of these? How can we challenge them to be like this?

For Kingdom Education,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

True religion


James 1: 26,27 (The Message) - Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world."

"What you do speaks louder than what you say." I remember hearing that one time, and it cut me to the quick. I was trying to reach a fellow co-worker at a job with the gospel message. However, being immature, I began to "fit in" with the other guys at work. Nothing really bad - but a little "off-color" in many areas. Finally, one day when I was trying to guide the conversation to his need for Christ, he said those words. I was stunned. I was humiliated. I lost my opportunity to reach this young man. We must be careful what we do - at all times, in all ways.

Louis Nizer, an American Lawyer said, "True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess." What is your life saying?

For Kingdom Education,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008



Acts 4:36 - "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement)...."

Tradition has it that, in 1803, Nicholas Hugh Sinep, the mayor of New Iberia, Louisiana, officially decided to be known as "Nick" instead of Nicholas. His new "Nick-name" supposedly provided a label for the practice of shortening names or assigning names reflecting aspects of character-that is, nicknames.

Nicknames are nothing new, of course. They not only go back to 1803 but back 1,800 years-and more! One of the most well-known nicknames in Scripture is "Barnabas." Barnabas's real name was Joseph. He was a Jew, a Levite from the island of Cyprus, who became a believer in Jesus, perhaps at Pentecost (Acts 2). Because Joseph was known for his encouraging spirit, people began to call him Barnabas, or "son of encouragement" in Hebrew (Acts 4:36).

What kind of nickname do people use for you? If others were to assign you a nickname - what would it be? Friendly? Nosy? Tale-bearer? Helper? Christ-like?

Think about that today. How do you want people to think of you.

For Kingdom Education,

Monday, December 1, 2008

12 Days of Christmas - $87 Grand!!


I just received some depressing news --

According to the annual "Christmas Price Index," the tally for the gifts of the 12 days of Christmas increased 10.9%.

This is up $8,508 from last year. If you are so romantically inclined to give what the song suggests, you will need $86,609.

Now, on a teacher's salary I am sure this seems too extravagant. So, look for ways to save. As one writer suggested - instead of two turtle-doves, how about two Dove chocolate bars. Instead of 10 Lord's a' Leading - how about a "Riverdance" DVD. After all, isn't it the thought that counts?

In fact, that is exactly what counts. It should not be about how extravagant a gift, but about the love that goes into choosing it. It is not about the price tag, but about the taking time to choose the right gift.

During this Christmas Season, let's not get caught up in the spending, but in the sending of care to those we love.

For Kingdom Education,

Full time ministers


"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him"
(Colossians 3:16,17).

I read the following story, and thought I would share it with you today.

Jonathon was a twenty-five year old son of a pastor who was working in his local Christian bookstore. He started seminary but was unable to finish because of a lack of finances. He was OK with working in the store, but felt it was second-best. In fact, sometimes he felt he had "missed his calling."

Then one day a young woman wondered into the store. She was distressed. She was not a believer. Her husband had just left her and she did not know where to turn. She was walking through the mall when she noticed the store. She decided to walk in, not knowing why.

"Hello, may I help you?" said Jonathon. "Well... I don't know. I saw your sign and just came in." Right then, she began to cry. She told Jonathon about her plight, not knowing why she would do such a thing with a perfect stranger. Jonathon listened and began to talk with her. Before the conversation was over, Jonathon had prayed with the woman and led her to faith in Christ.

That night Jonathon pondered what had happened that day. He realized he had personally led a woman into eternity by being available in his workplace. He felt a new sense of purpose behind what he thought was simply a job to put food on the table until he could get to his real ministry. He confessed to the Lord his wrong view of his work. For the first time, he realized it was ministry too.

We have often viewed Christian vocations as the only full-time Christian service. However, God has to have His people in every sphere of life. Many would never hear the message, see the truth, or come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ without "full-time Christian servants" in every profession.

Whatever your calling in life - let Jesus shine through and seek to discover how you can be a full-time servant where you are. An old preacher told me one time - "Bloom where you are planted." Let the fragrance of your life lead others to Him.

For Kingdom Education,

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