Back After a Few Days Off . . . with a Special Edition of Friday Coffee with PJ

The past few days I took some needed time off to get some things done around the house, to spend some time with my wife and to simply get some rest. November sped by (primarily due to my short term mission trip to India, followed by the Thanksgiving holiday less than a week after my return). With vacation days still remaining ... I decided to take a few. I am now ready to move forward (I hope) with a renewed passion and joy in Christ (and a lot less coughing!).  So ... pour your cup of favorite hot brew (which is especially good on a frigid day like this!) and enjoy some random thoughts I want to put before you.

1. During our "staycation" this week, we did some shopping, ran other errands, and took one day trip up to the Hershey area. So we spent a lot of time in the car. During this time, we had the car radio on, listening to so called Christmas music. At one point, when the strains of a familiar carol began to fill the car, I said to my wife, "Well, it only took six songs to get to one that mentions Jesus Christ!" Yep. Six songs. The first five dealt with Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, snow, Santa, and a white Christmas ... or something along that line. Increasingly Jesus Christ is being systematically removed from HIS holiday! That means those of us who claim allegiance to him must be even more intentional about keeping Christ in CHRISTmas! So ... let me ask you, what are YOU doing to do so? What steps is your family taking to be sure Christ is at the center of your Christmas celebration? 

2. There's been a lot of talk about the decline in church attendance in the United States in the past decade or two. Thom Rainer, a Christian researcher and author suggests that one of the primary factors is that people who do attend church, do so with a lot less consistency. Kevin DeYoung has some thoughts on this on an insightful posting on his blog, The Scandal of the Semi-Churched. It's a good read! 

3. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE SITUATION IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC. I got word yesterday that all of our Grace Brethren (Encompass World Partners) were evacuated safely out of the country. But many dear brothers and sisters in Christ remain behind. This impoverished country, made even more so by months of violence, is in the midst of a huge humanitarian crisis. Please pray for the church ... and for my friend, Augustin Hibaile and his family.

4. Snow! Looks like more is coming tomorrow. I believe with tomorrow's snow we will easily surpass the total amount of snow we received ALL of last winter. And as I look at the calendar, winter has not even officially begun! I sure hope this is not a sign of things to come!!! In the midst of all this snow and cold, I am so thankful to my God to have a warm house for shelter. How about YOU? 

5. Stop by tomorrow for a special prayer that spoke to me . . . it will give you something to do while you are stuck at home as the snow falls outside! 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

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