For many of us, this time of year our thoughts are drawn toward the most special event that has ever occurred in the history of our world. 

  • The scene…Bethlehem, the event…the birth of our Savior.
  • The One who was born in a humble stable and was the long anticipated Emmanuel.
  • What a name for those back then, and for each one of us today “GOD WITH US”

Songs, programs, plays, family celebrations have long focused on the familiar participants who appeared on the scene of this beloved, much repeated story.

  • We hear so frequently about His mother Mary.
  • The angles who announced the Baby’s birth.
  • The shepherds who hurriedly went to see the newborn Child.
  • And, later the Wise Men who came to honor this God/Man with precious gifts.

History and people honor the Mother of this Christ Child.

  • They speak of her youth, her purity, her dedication to God.
  • But, what of Joseph of Nazareth?
  • We must remember, he was chosen also for God’s purpose.
  • What kind of man was he?
  • What did he think?
  • More importantly: what did he feel, how strong was his faith, his trust?

I’ve often wonder about him as he watched these momentous events take place in and around his life.

  • I believe he would be a man of great faith with a kind heart.
  • A man full of love and tenderness.
  • He would be courageous, dedicated and protective of those he loved.
  • He wasn’t self absorbed or full of pride.
  • He would be a man of principle, but also a man of strength and action.
  • He would be a man who accepted things he didn’t understand.
  • He was a man of integrity.
  • All of these things and many others describe Joseph.

Jesus came into this world pure and sinless.

  • He lived a sinless life and went to the cross for you and me.
  • According to Scripture Joseph was never mentioned after Jesus reached the age of twelve.
  • It is thought that Joseph died long before Christ began His earthly ministry.

Our Savior was pure in every way.

  • I believe His adopted father Joseph lived a life before Him that was full of character.
  • He demonstrated the best of humanity.
  • Joseph taught Him the value of hard work with the scared hands of a carpenter.
  • But, also showed Him by example the value of a tender heart.
  • Joseph was both a teacher for, and a student of this baby, child, young man; that through a miracle of God entered his life.

Many times on this road of life as Joseph was; we are called upon through faith to accept situations we do not understand.

  • To go forward and be the best we can be.
  • Sometimes in the face of mockery and the rejection of others.
  • You and I have a responsibility to listen, accept, to focus ahead and teach others as Joseph did.
  • An angel from heaven does not come to comfort or lead us.
  • Today, we have the Word of God in our hands to accompany us through whatever path we are destined to follow.

From the beginning of time, God had a perfect plan which was fulfilled in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. 

  • The Babe in the manager that we and others celebrate this season; was brought into this world in a cattle barn by the worn, rough hands of Joseph.
  • Thirty-three years later this baby who grew to be a man, who fulfilled all Scripture; was taken off the cross after His death by the hands of another Joseph.


“I believe the Glory of Heaven is lying in my hands tonight” **

**  Joseph’s Lullaby from the Album The Christmas Sessions

      recorded by Mercy Me


Life's Journey, Seasonal



……December 6, 2014

Truly this is a most joyous time of the year.

  • Plans are being made, secrets being kept and wonderful smells of cookies, candies, and all sorts of delicious goodies (diet of course) coming from the kitchens in our homes.

Each of us remembers the eager anticipation we felt as children.

  • I hope you still have the same sense of excitement and of wonder.
  • As much as I loved Christmas as a child, it became even more enjoyable as I looked upon this season through the eyes of a mother who made special plans for her own children.
  • This year we look forward to being together with our now grown family and celebrating this blessed time of year with the traditions we have all grown to love.

What a joy!  What a wonderful time of the year!

Before we get too caught up in business, let all of us take time to stop and think.

  • In your mind go back to that little town and to the hills where the shepherds stood watch over their flocks.
  • There has never been a night like that again in over two thousand years.
  • In your imagination put yourself there with all the principle players in the greatest drama to ever unfold.

And….as you do, keep in mind that it was all planned for you.

  • We see Joseph and the concern he has on his face as he goes from door to door looking for warm, clean shelter for his wife to bear the most special child ever to be born. 
  • And what of Mary?  From the very beginning she gave herself humbly to the will of her God.  But remember, she was only a very young girl.  What did she feel?  Was she afraid of the unknown?  Did she wonder about the important task ahead of her; being the mother of the Son of God?

Outside the city we encounter two very different groups of people.

  • First –  there were the shepherds faithfully caring for their sheep who were settled down for the night.  These men were among the poorest of the poor.
  • Second –  if we look hard enough, we can see a far away group of travelers.  These men came from a life never experienced by the shepherds. This small group were wise men who possessed great knowledge and wealth. Some say they were kings.

But rich or poor, they all had the same need.

  • The same need you and I have, a Savior. Their need, our need is about to be met.

Suddenly, the scene is totally changed.

  • Both in Bethlehem and out on the silent hills.
  • Music is everywhere, angels are singing; joy reigns on this dark night and a star shines brightly.
  • The shepherds, kings, animals and angels all join together; to celebrate a journey started long ago when mankind itself was born.
  • Fear and sadness gone. Hope, promise, restoration, eternity has come together this night; born in the form of a baby in a simple manger.



“…And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,

which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”     

(Luke 2:8-9 kjv)

Encouragement, Life's Journey

The Pearl

November 29, 2014

Today, let’s take time to reflect on one of the most unique and beautiful creation of nature: the Pearl. The Pearl is not a gem. It is an “element” (pun intended) and in a classification of it’s own.

The gems which we highly prize including gold and silver come from the earth. They are formed by the pressure exerted upon them by the forces of nature. Which, in itself, is a lesson for us.

The Pearl…….a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk.

  • Just like the shell of a clam or oyster, A Pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in layers.
  • Being irritated by a parasite or something intruding into the shell, the mollusk forms a pearl sac of tissue cells and secrets a substance to cover the irritant.
  • This protection process is repeated many times, thus producing A Pearl.

This process also speaks of the irritations and difficulties in our lives.

  • We don’t want to let something invade our life that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
  • So, if we desire to live a life that benefits others and ourselves; we must work to protect our lives from whatever is attempting to intrude and be unprofitable to us.
  • This may be a long and tedious process. A Pearl is not created overnight, but is slowly developed by a repetitive building up of layer upon layer of protection by the mollusk.

Fine quality Pearls are most of the time iridescent.

  • Like the interior of the shell that produces them.
  • Our life, as seen by others, will reflect what we are on the inside.

In this modern age of “anything goes” there is so much offered to us that has absolutely no benefit.

  • Much of it causes nothing but harm and destruction.
  • It seems pleasurable at the moment, but unforeseen results come into our lives. 

Do we, as individuals, want to go along with today’s culture.

  • And, let that which is undesirable into our lives?
  • Or are we alert to what is damaging, so that we can put into process the tools to protect ourselves?

In 1895 there was a book written by Henry Van Dyke called “The Story Of The Other Wise Man.”** Like the other Magi, He sees the signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. He sets out on his journey to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child – a sapphire, a ruby and A Pearl of great price.  

He stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him miss joining the caravan of the other three wise men. Since he missed the caravan, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy camels and supplies necessary to cross the desert alone.

He arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. He then saves the life of another child at the price of another one of his treasures.

He travels to Egypt and spends many years searching for Jesus there, also in many other countries. All along the way he performs acts of kindness and charity to those who needed assistance.

After thirty-three years, he is still a pilgrim, searching for the King he heard about all those many years ago.

He finally arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. There he spends his last treasure, The Pearl, to ransom a young woman about to be sold as a slave.

He is mortally wounded in an accident, and is about to die, having failed in his quest.

Yet, he was at peace, because he had done the best he could. A voice whispers to him “Verily I say unto thee, In as much as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.” The Other Wise Man had found his King.

The word Pearl is a description of something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.

There is not another exactly like you. When each of us decides to rid ourselves of the irritations inside, we become a rare find for others and our life become more valuable to them and to our own selves.

Pearls have a softer exterior than the hardened gems of earth. It is said that they will take on a specific luster and color from the oils, minerals etc. on the skin of the one who wears them. What traits do you take on in your life for others to see?

In this life there are always lessons to be learned. What can you learn from A Pearl?


“The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks,

while in reality it is the only weight which is necessary to keep the diver down…

while he is hunting for pearls.”



**The Story Of The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke, Publisher: Harper & Brothers