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December 2010

Posts from November 2010

"Good News Of Great Joy"

"Good News Of Great Joy", originally uploaded by Calpastor.

"And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." ~ Luke 2:10 (ESV)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Farmersville and I'm excited to be here, celebrating and sharing the "good news of great joy" during the month of December.

It was such a blessing to walk in the chapel today and find joyful believers decorating God's house while listening to Christmas music. The church should lead the charge in celebrating Christmas. It's about Jesus! He IS the "good news"! He IS the "great joy"!

This "good news of great joy" is for "all the people"! The greatest gift of all time was given to "all the people". We should be like the shepherds and tell everyone about Jesus. Christmas is a special time of year. People are more open to attending church services around Christmas time. Let's make sure they are invited!

See you in church!

Pastor Mike

Farmersville Thanksgiving 2010

Farmersville's Fall Charm, originally uploaded by Calpastor.
"All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you." Psalm 145:10 (NLT)

I keep my camera with me most of the time these days. God's creation seems to be screaming His praises with majestic colors! His faithful followers will praise Him too.

Thanksgiving Day is just a day or two away. I have so much to be thankful for. A beautiful (smokin' hot) wife, three lovely daughters, a pretty decent son-in-law (The Dark Knight), and an amazing church in which to serve the Lord. Believe it or not, I have fallen in love with the city of Farmersville and I'm thankful for the beauty that surrounds me here.

What are you thankful for this year?

Fishes and Loaves

Baby Doll, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

John 6:9 (ESV) ~ “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”

I have always loved the story of the boy who offered his five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus. God can take whatever we have to offer and do something more with it than we ever could. I like that because most of the time I'm pretty sure I don't have enough to offer, but I know that God can take it and do something great with it.

Kathy and I made several visits today and offered up our loaves and fishes. Actually she gave ham and sweet potatoes and I gave some photo prints. We visited, prayed, and left each one a little something.

Tonight, we were blessed to ride around town in our church bus and pass out Thanksgiving Baskets to a bunch of families. It was awesome to see the bus filled with God's people, each excited to go out and share the love of Christ with folks in our community.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanking God For Second Chances

Fall's Glorious Return, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

This week I was having some prints made and was disappointed to find that I had mistakenly compressed an image to the point that I couldn't get a decent size print from the file. I did some searching through my files and was delighted to find my original untouched NEF file so that I could have a second chance at processing the image.

Second chances are amazing. God has gifted us with so many opportunities to start fresh. Time is divided into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades. Each of these units of time gives us an opportunity to start fresh. Even greater than these fresh starting points is the fact the God is willing to forgive us when we have failed and allow us to start fresh.

"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 John 1:9

Here's what I was thinking about as I walked through a vineyard filled with 100+ year old vines imported from Italy...

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me." John 15:1–4

We Are Never Alone

Napa Valley Harvest, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever..." ~ John 14:16 (ESV)

Today, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit. I loaded the jeep and headed out this morning with a whole list of things to do but the Holy Spirit very clearly told me to change my plans and head in a different direction. I resisted for about 30 seconds before giving in and I'm so glad I did. It felt so good to know that even when we think we're alone, we're not. He is there with us throughout the day, guiding us along the way.

Fix Your Thoughts

Played Like A Fiddle, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8

I manipulated the colors in this photograph just a little while developing it. In my work flow, among other things, I increased the oranges, reds, and yellows and decreased the blues and greens just a little. The interesting thing to me is that all of these colors are in the original image but by choosing to highlight some and downplay others a very different and pleasing image emerges.

A better image of things in our lives might emerge if we would carefully adjust what we emphasize and downplay. Philippians 4:8 urges us to emphasize the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and the admirable.

Focus on the positive!

Have a great weekend!

Through Every Season

Through Every Season, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

Today, I'm thankful for my lovely wife! This photo and post is mostly for her...

Proverbs 18:22 (ESV) "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."

I have been blessed with "a good thing" and I know for sure that it was a "favor from the Lord".

We celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this week by sneaking off to Three Rivers for the night, enjoying an awesome pizza together, and staying in a lovely cabin on the side of the river. It was too dark to see the river when we arrived but the sound of the water flowing over and through the rocks was amazing.

In the morning, as we walked along the South Fork of the Kaweah River I couldn't stop thinking about how long the river has run through these hills. Year after year, it has flowed along it's winding rocky path bringing it's cool refreshing waters to the valley below. I have been blessed to witness the beauty of this river through many seasons. It's environment changes from winter, spring, summer, and fall but it just continues to travel it's path and always seems to capture my attention with it's beauty.

I suppose a good marriage is very similar to a river in many respects.

I love you Kathy, and I will continue to love you through every season.