Friday Coffee with PJ

Well here we are ... just 9 days out from Christmas. I guess that means I will have to break out my special Starbucks Christmas blend. I know some don't care for Starbucks, but I enjoy it! And I am talking about coffee ... not those fancy coffee flavored drinks served up by Starbucks that are so sweet they will rot your teeth. I am talking about plain, unadulterated coffee! Well, no matter the brand you might currently be drinking, pour yourself a cup and join me for a few random thoughts. 

1. I am a city kid at heart (well, at least part of my heart). The first 13 years of my life were spent playing football on vacant lots, wall ball on a macadam playground and sledding down back alleys. Then, just a month after my 13th birthday, my parents moved us out of the city of Harrisburg to a lakeside renovated and expanded cottage in northern rural York County. You talk about a culture shift! Now boating and fishing and hunting and farm work became a huge part of my life. Today, imprints from both of those chapters of my life can be seen in me. I love to fish. I feel at home in the city. And I hold my breath every time I pass by a field that has been freshly fertilized with you know what (yep, those several years of cleaning out horse stables did not render my nose immune to that smell!). Speaking of smells, God calls us to be the fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). And the only way we will be able to become the fragrance of Christ is to spend time in his presence! When I got home from cleaning out horse stables, my mom would not even let me in the house without first stripping off my clothes (we had an enclosed wrap around porch that allowed me to do this in semi-private conditions!). Why? Because after spending all that time around horse manure, my clothes smelled just like it! And so it is with Jesus Christ. The more time we spend with him (in his word and in prayer) ... the more we will smell like him! And that is a fragrance that we need to spread around! 

2. Back in my Harrisburg days, the group of kids I hung around with made an interesting discovery one Christmas season. That particular year (I am guessing I was in fifth grade), we decided to go Christmas caroling. And as we did so, going from house to house in our neighborhood, most people would come to the door, smile at us as we sang, and then thank us as we left. But a significant number would SHOW their thanks by offering us Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and (here is what brought us the most joy) even money! That's right! After a good night of caroling,
we would divvy up the money and often walk away with a dollar or two in our pockets (this in the day when the average worker made about $2.00 per hour)! Now, I admit that our motivation for singing Christmas carols was definitely all wrong! At that time in my life, I did not know Jesus Christ. I knew Christmas had something to do with a baby named Christ, but rarely did I give that any thought. Christmas for me meant gifts, gifts, and more gifts (and I am talking about receiving gifts and not giving!). I want to go on record to say that I am so VERY GRATEFUL to God that I am a far different person today! I have learned many things since those cold nights of caroling on the streets of Harrisburg. I now know that Christmas is ALL about the Christ child who was none other than God in the flesh, born to be our savior! I also know that it is a far greater blessing to give than to receive. God, of course, modeled this for us when he so loved us he gave to us his one and only son (John 3:16). And when we place our faith in him to forgive us and save us from eternal judgment, he does so! What a GIFT he offers to all! Have you by grace alone (you can't earn it no matter how hard you try!), through faith alone in Christ alone received HIS free gift of eternal life? Questions? Please take a moment to check out: Two Ways to Live: The Choice We All Face. 

A Merry Christmas season to you all ... and make sure you get your shopping done in time! 

Thanks for stopping by . . . 

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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