Only 365 days to Christmas! It will take us that long to get over this one! By then we will only owe six months on the eighteen month no interest wash machine. We only will have half as much left on the credit cards we loaded up to pay for the toys the kids broke two days out and the others lost interest in two weeks out. We will have eleven months to get over all the drama and musical practices. Maybe in the next 365 days we can figure out that Christmas is Christ’s birthday and not ours. That the real meaning of Christmas is not about debt and work. That the real meaning of Christmas is freedom and rest. He came to free us from the chains of this world and sins penalty. Christmas is the day we celebrate with family and friends all He gave us so we can commit ourselves to giving Him to those who have not received Him yet! Merry Christmas!
Watching a star, walking toward a stall to Worship a Savior!
The wise men in the Christmas story may have come after the birth of Christ and after He was gone from the stall but they found Him and worshiped Him. They watched and followed a faraway star to find the Christ Child. The star led them to the location to worship.
The lord was born in humble surroundings. Poor people getting by but in the midst of the animals and the smells Christ entered their world. Among poverty, rejects and outcasts, there He revealed Himself. He does no less today. Today He is still there among the lost. He does not reside in the mansions and lofty places but among the poor and weak. He is there where we are and where we live. But as He was in that day He must be sought to be found. He never leaves our location. Among our hurried and frazzled schedules He is there. Among the rush and the fuss He is there. Among the hurts and the sickness He is there. Among the bills and the debt He waits for us to seek Him.
Sadly most of us ignore the signs that lead to Him. Most of pass by the stalls where He rests and waits. We have our own stars to follow and our gaze is on mansions on our landscapes. Our culture and citizenry drive us to look for prosperity, possessions and property. We are not looking for Him because we are being driven for us. But if you can stop for just a moment maybe you could see a star the leads to a stall where waits a Savior!
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Be very careful about your words and actions. Sometimes fighting for what is right is very wrong. There are times that silence is better than your words. If you speak then speak at the right time with the right words for the right reason to the right people. Don’t be lured into debates that don’t matter and never really do anything but create divisiveness. There is nothing worse than later realizing you sided up to the wrong cause or people.
But silence is deadly if you know there is error and deception and you know the truth. There is a time to be silent and a time to walk away. But men of honor will stand up for the truth and lose everything else for it to be told. If you have to be silent then do so! If you have to walk away only do so after you have clearly stated the truth. Never be intimated by the politicians or the pontiffs! Realize that good people will believe the lies and fight for things that are not true because they do not know. Be gentle and never try to destroy others because they are uninformed. But speak the truth and be a man that others can trust.
My Friend – by D.J. Higgins
My friend, I stand in judgment now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the Lord in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you friend and trusted you
But now I learned, now it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And yet you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you friend in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend
“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count! Everything that counts cannot be counted.” Albert Einstein
In life and in ministry one should guard against trying to live in a score keeping mode. I like keeping score in sports to get better and to know who wins at competition. I like to keep count when it comes to accounting in finances to be sure that my expenses don’t exceed my income so that my outgo will not be my downfall. But ministry and life is not competition and certainly not business. Life and ministry that count is costly and immeasurable by logical return on investment.
Life and ministry is too complex and too fragile to scale by a measurable and cold grafts. Life and ministry is about relationships, caring and compassion. You do for others because you care and love those who are connected to you. The moment you start to see others as an investment or a deficit is the moment you lose the relationship. Life and ministry is a journey people do together to help each benefit to the betterment of the other. It is not one sided and it’s is not business.
If you do life for the promotions, the positions and the profit then you will never have long lasting satisfaction. Live for those things and you never tap into the real thing of life and ministry.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else will fall in place.
Keith Elder Message
Genesis 15:5 “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.”
How do you describe things that are larger than life?
How do you describe the ocean the first time you stand and listen to its roar and watch its endless tide?
How do you describe the Rocky mountains when you take your first look at those towering peaks and seemingly never-ending ridges?
How do you describe the universe as you stand beneath the starry canopy and your eyes only can see the eternal void interrupted by trillions of stars and galaxies?
You don’t describe it, you admire it! You stand in awe of it, you wait in amazement because you cannot describe it! I feel the same way when I try to describe Keith Elder!
To many of us, when we first met him, he was larger than life; not only in size, but in spirit and experience.
As Mark Muirhead noted on my Facebook page he was; Big Heart, Big Stature, Big Handshake, Big Voice, Big Prayers, Big Dreams, Big Achievements and Bigger Rewards.
I would like to add; Big Friend, Big Husband, Big Father, Big Grand Dad, Big Brother, and Big Neighbor!
While his absence leaves a void in us, his legacy leaves us with big responsibilities to carry on the vision, the love, the prayers, the caring and the dreams, that he championed for us!
He left us with an example of how to preach the Gospel! He showed us that the message was better delivered with a hug, a tug on the shoulder, an open door, a forgiving heart, a tear in the eye and welcoming meal.
I don’t know that I ever had the privilege to hear him preach, but his message was always clear and precise and life changing: to him people matter, vision matters, and legacy matters.
He taught us how to live, how to dream and how to leave behind what really matters.
For many of us he was our greatest coach cheering us on! He’s left the field, but the game continues on! He left us his legacy and we honor it today!
Elder’s life has yielded so much good fruit of lives being changed. May his legacy continue to yield that same fruit!
Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.””