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Showing posts from December 15, 2011


He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty. —LAO-TZU, The Way of LifeInc Merriam-Webster, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1992). 378.

Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

December 15 HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING Charles Wesley, 1707–1788 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2) Christmas carols as we know them now were abolished by the English Puritan parliament in 1627 because they were a part of a “worldly festival,” which they considered the celebration of Christmas to be. As a result, there was a scarcity of Christmas hymns and carols in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Charles Wesley’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was one of the few written during this period. Wesley’s fine text and the melody by master composer Felix Mendelssohn have given this hymn its great popularity and its standing as a classic among Christmas songs. Like many of Charles Wesley’s more than 6,500 hymns, this text clearly presents biblical doctrine in poetic language. The first stanza describes the song of the an…

Fresh Start Devotionals

City Lights The city looks beautiful from a distance. Have you ever seen the San Francisco skyline as the sun descends in the west? Or the Tandy buildings lit up at Christmas time in Fort Worth? The view of Albuquerque is exquisite from the West Mesa looking down into the Valley. The hot air balloons fill the morning sky and the lights sparkle, illuminating the evening air. Up close, now that’s a different story—traffic jams, pollution, noise, crime, homelessness, stench, hopelessness. Our cities have unique problems that seem impossible to solve. Country folks think there is something inherently sinful about it and warn their young of the evils of the city. What is the cure for the problems of the city? A new government, more police, better schools and more churches? Several Biblical writers used the city as a metaphor for heaven. The writer of Hebrews wrote: “Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built…