Will you sleep through the alarm?

Because of the season, I hear “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” a lot. But that simple phrase keeps placing another, more troubling song on my heart. Casting Crowns has a beautiful song inspired by the original hymn.

It is such a dead-on reflection of how we are becoming – or have already become…

Yes, this is a season of celebrating and joy.

But, let us not forget, that, sadly, there are many whose celebrations will be empty and void of the One who is the center of it all. My heart breaks and aches over the fact that so many people do not know this One who became Flesh two thousand years ago.

Oh, that this nation would be aroused from it’s slumber…

I have posted the lyrics and a video so you can listen to the song. (The video is not by Casting Crowns – someone created it to go with the song)

Listen to it prayerfully. And remember those you know who are celebrating Christmas without Christ.

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an ever lasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem what you have missed
while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh little town of Bethlehem
you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only son
The Way, the Truth and the Life had come
But there was no room for Him
in the world He came to save
Jerusalem what you have missed
while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world
is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
While we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while lying there in the dark
There’s a shout across the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away
in the night, in the night
America what will we miss
while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King

Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

Written by Mark Hall
2005 Club Zoo Music (BMI) / SWECS Music (BMI) (adm. by EMI CMG Publishing)


You won’t see these under the tree:

Okay, so we got our Sam’s Club Gifts 2006 catalog in the mail the other day…

I kid you not… these are actual gifts listed in it:

1) “An unusual and rare diamond, not to be missed….

For the individual with a taste for the rare and spectacular in diamond beauty, this Cushion Cut 30.99 ct. Cognac diamond, (GIA Certified Fancy Dark Orange Brown, VVS1 clarity), is ripe and voluptuous in it’s color and cutting. Wearing this beautiful fancy color diamond is to witness a new world of glowing, sparkling color each day…..truly a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition.”

$343,000.00

2) “From the cutters of the largest internally flawless diamond in the world (the 407 carat “Incomparable”) SAM’S CLUB presents another rare and precious gem exclusively priced for SAM’S CLUB Members. This 10.37 carat Heart Shaped diamond is GIA certified D Color, Internally Flawless and is ready to be mounted in a spectacular pendant or ring.

Guaranteed to be natural, non-treated and non conflict.
Dimensions of diamond = 13.50mm x 15.61mm x 7.81mm”

$721,233.00

3) ” Whether for business or pleasure, you can simplify your travel schedule and flight experience by investing in the new Cessna Citation Mustang Light Jet. The Mustang is an entirely new kind of jet. Speed, seating, flight range and value – Sam’s Club offers all of this to our Members in this once-in-a-lifetime package. True 340-knot (391 mph) speed, cabin-class seating for six, single-pilot simplicity and a good half-continent of range, all come together with the lowest price tag of any Citation in over two decades. Best of all, this amazing new jet is being built and backed by the Cessna Aircraft Company. You can own the new Cessna Citation Mustang Light Jet – the ultimate travel package.

Your personal Membership to Sam’s Club is provided for life. The purchaser of the Once-In-Lifetime Cessna Citation Mustang package will receive a Lifetime Plus Membership to Sam’s Club. You will be granted lifetime shopping privileges to hundreds of Sam’s Club locations, complimentary health and medical discounts and tremendous savings on additional services unique to Sam’s Club Plus Members. With this once-in-a-lifetime package you will fly in style and through Sam’s Club you will live in style too.

Unlike many aviation concepts, this one flies, is FAA-certified and will deliver in 2007. This Once-in-a-Lifetime Cessna Citation Mustang and Sam’s Club® Lifetime Membership Package is only available on samsclub.com. Sam’s Club invites you to pre-qualify by speaking with a Sam’s Club Member Service Representative at 1-888-746-7726 beginning November 1, 2006. Available for purchase on November 9, 2006 at Noon CST. ”

$2,734,600
(sorry, but this is SOLD…)

4) “This year, when the divisional champs face off in Miami, Florida for the glory of becoming the champions, you and three of your friends could be at the game for every first down, every touchdown and every minute of pro football’s championship game. Sam’s Club and Samsung have worked together to create an experience of a lifetime for four football enthusiasts that includes tickets to the championship game, as well as entry to VIP events that are off-limits to ordinary fans!”

$71,000.00

5) “This walk-in wine vault with brushed aluminum exterior holds approximately 1,500 bottles. It has a computer panel inventory system, Wine Mate cooling system for optimal temperature & humidity, redwood racks and glass windows & door. Each unit is hand built to order. Please allow eight weeks to build and ship your custom built wine vault. Each unit is shipped on three pallets, un-assembled. Minor carpentry and electrical skills are required to assemble. The panels interlock. If you require an area where the exhaust is placed differently than shown, this can be done, but will delay shipment. For the same cost, we can modify the dimensions (smaller only).”

$33,000.00

Now, for the flip side of that:

Consider the following poverty statistics (from WorldVision):

Extreme Global Poverty … is more than 1 billion people around the world living on less than $1 a day. 
Because of extreme global poverty:

  • One child dies every 3 seconds because of AIDS or extreme poverty.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 70 percent of the total world HIV-positive population.
  • More than 1 billion people do not have access to clean water.
  • 852 million people—most of them women and children—suffer from chronic hunger or malnutrition.
  • Around the world, 104 million children do not go to school because of poverty.

Please, prayerfully consider what you can do to help the poor and hungry.

“Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” Acts 10:4b

Blessings,
~K

More Moms for Modesty

There was an interesting article in the Washington Post recently regarding the way that kids are choosing and being allowed to dress. You can read it here. But first, stop by the Family Research Council — scroll down to “Sleazy-Chic Culture Goes to School”. Notice that second listing under “Additional Resources”, the Moms for Modesty: Let Your Voice Be Heard link? If you haven’t already signed it, head over to her site (here)

I was so saddened and struck by some of the comments in the Washington Post article. For example:

“Her mother, Yakini Ajanaku, does not mind her daughter’s T-shirts because she said Ashli wears them to be ironic. “I know she’s a sweet girl, and I know that she’s very conservative and is not sexually active,” Ajanaku said. “Other people would probably get the wrong message, but I am pretty much like, ‘Who cares what they think?’ “

Huh?? (I guess my Daniel study is becoming ingrained (thankfully) in my mind. I notice our “Babylon” everywhere and this is but one example.)

For a mother to make that comment about her child is like throwing her in the Lions Den unprepared… Why would a mother be okay with someone getting the wrong message — in this case a sexual one — about her child? We SHOULD care about the messages we send others.

We live in a fallen world. People will be amused by “ironic” statements like these kids are wearing around. They will think they are clever and cool to come across as so liberated and free-spirited. We’ll assume for a moment that this mother isn’t a believer. BUT, unfortunately, in the world we live in, with our lives as Christians being muddied by this worlds dirt, it is harder to determine.

As Christians we should be different. We are set apart. We NEED to care what others think. NOT about how big our home is, or our car. But whether or not we are reflecting the Lord.

Do these clothes glorify the Lord?

Would He be pleased to see us in them?

Even if we DON’T care what others think, we should care what God thinks.

We are holy vessels in the House of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:20-21) Do we treat ourselves or allow our children to NOT treat themselves as if we/they are sacred?

Another thought I had while reading this stemmed from this quote and statistic:

“The T-shirts highlight a paradox about this generation: Even as more teenagers absorb ubiquitous sexual messages, federal data show that they report having less sex than their predecessors.

Although a recent National Center for Health Statistics survey found that more than half of all teenagers engage in oral sex, teen pregnancy rates have plummeted since the early 1990s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of high school students who reported having sexual intercourse dropped from 54 percent in 1991 to 47 percent in 2005.”

I’m only half surprised… Yes, they are having “less sex” — but sex has been de-valued. It is jaded. They see it everywhere… It’s not anything special. (also, I believe that their definition of sex has changed.) I think that more and more we are losing our ability to be intimate with others in ANY capacity (not just sexual).

We are a disconnected society. Instead of hanging out with the people we are with, we hang out in groups chatting to otherpeople on our cell phones. We text message and IM people that we don’t know – who we are anonymous with, which allows us to come across in ways that we wouldn’t dare in real life.

All of this seems discouraging. But have courage. We were placed in this Babylon for a reason. We need to encourage other believers to keep their eyes on heaven. And to keep our noses clean.

Paraphrasing Beth Moore (from session six of Daniel): If we keep our noses clean in this Babylon, we have the capacity for a HUGE influence on others. We can even influence the influential. We don’t know who we are sitting by, riding with in a carpool, raising in our homes.

We are to bear much fruit.

So, consider what you are wearing or allowing your child to wear. It may seem like a small thing. But, it matters.

Blessings,

~K

God Still Provides Manna

The most exciting thing happened on wednesday.

Before I start, let me first give a little back story:

We had the most amazing small bible study group in Maryland. What a fantastic group to know and share, worship and fellowship with. They weren’t just there for you on thursday nights (When we met each week), but helped us move, showered us with gifts when Seamus was born and on and on (plus we had some GOOD EATS everyweek!) When we moved, I knew that this group was what I would miss the most from my daily life.

So, back to wednesday… As most of you know, this past year was brutal. Our move here relieved a lot of the causes. But we’ve still been picking up the pieces slowly. God has given us everything we need. Most weeks, it is just the right amount for in between pay periods – our groceries run out the day Sean gets paid, things come due at the “right time” etc. But this pay period was different. A lot of people have been on vacation at Sean’s work and so he has been sent home early or called off for the entire day a lot. (He worked 52 hours over this past two-week pay period.)

Needless to say, the check is a lot smaller this week and we hadn’t been able to set aside for it (at least in an account we can just go and draw from at anytime). So, wednesday morning, this fact was looking me squarely in the face. I had realized that we had just enough to pay our things due… but, oh, yes – we need food!

As I was getting ready in the morning I just prayed ernestly for the food. I said “Lord, I don’t know how you are going to do it, but you know we need food and that it will need to last for two weeks. Please provide it for us.” Then I let it go.

This was certainly an area requiring faith, because let’s face it – food just doesn’t appear at your doorstep. It’s not like you can postpone it until next pay period. Ya gots ta eat…

I was starting to get ready to pick Abbie up from school when there was a knock at the door. FedEx had a package for me. I opened it up and was blown away by what was inside:

gift cards from our Maryland Bible study group for our local grocery store!!!

Food had arrived on our doorstep. The amount will be no problem taking us through the next two weeks.

Okay – now here is the kicker. I try to call my mom — line’s busy.

Try to call her cell — busy.

Call again — busy, busy busy.

I HAVE to talk with someone!

So I call my brother (who, along with my sister-in-law are a part of the bible study group). I start bawling.

Now, you have to picture my brother — he loves me, I know it, but he is not one who enjoys handling, how shall I describe it, “emotional delicacy”.

So, as I’m crying, I’m sure he is kicking himself for answering the phone (I could just see him with that tense-mouth thing he does when he is not sure what to do or say, possibly banging the phone against his forehead…)

But finally, as I can speak clearly and ask questions, he begins to tell me the story behind the gift cards:

They had been trying to get them to us since May. There was a big mess up with getting the grocery store’s corporate office to get them sent off and it finally got straightened out this week. Just when we needed it. (This totally blows my mind!)

We didn’t need those gift cards before. We would have used them and used the extra cash on something else.

Truly, truly, truly this is manna from Heaven! Isn’t the Lord awesome in His timing. What I know was a frustrating situation on the part of the group was used to reach us when we needed it the most.

So – thank you, my dear, sweet Maryland bible study group. I love you all and we are so truly blessed by your friendship. Thank you for thinking of us.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not sure how to transition from that one, but I wanted to also mention that I started Beth Moore’s Daniel bible study Wednesday. I am so excited about this study. The subtitle is Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy.
Description from the LifeWay bookstore site:

“Divided into 2 parts, the 1st portion (Daniel 1-6), emphasized by Lives of Integrity, deals with the life of the prophet and is extremely contemporary. Daniel faced pressures and temptations similar to those of a Christian in today’s world. He teaches and models for us how to develop enduring integrity in an enticing world.

The 2nd half (Daniel 7-12), turns to explore the prophecies of Daniel. It deals in-depth with the historical details, predictions, and fulfillments detailing history from the time of Daniel, through the inter-biblical period, the time of Christ, and on to the second coming of Christ.”

I loved her Patriarchs study and this is a great followup. The old testament is so interesting and amazingly relevant to us still.

Abbie’s week has been going well. She comes running out of school so excited every day now.

Have an awesome weekend everyone.
Blessings,

~K