For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6,7


Miracle-working surgeons float to Africa’s poor

Hi-tech ships bring grace, healing to the ‘unspeakably’ disfigured
Posted: November 4, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

The faith that 25 years ago enabled a volunteer youth mission to believe it could see an aging ocean liner turned into a hi-tech floating hospital is the catalyst today behind even more remarkable transformations – in the bodies and spirits of the poorest of the world’s poor.

Specializing in the healing of horrific facial deformities in places where often little or no professional health care exists, Mercy Ships International’s three vessels, staffed by thousands of volunteers, have provided more than 2 million services with a direct impact on 5.5 million people.

Following the 2,000 year-old model of Jesus – to make the blind see, the lame walk, the mute speak and proclaim good news – the Christian organization has performed more than 18,000 operations and surgical procedures, including cleft lip and palate, cataract removal, straightening of crossed-eyes and – in stunning fashion – orthopedic and facial reconstructions to bring healing from ghastly tumors that defy imagination.

Please read the rest

The Mission of Christmas
Betsy Childs

Sometimes the Christmas season can seem so busy that things which are ordinarily important to us get pushed aside. This can happen in our churches as well as our families; there is barely enough time to squeeze in all of the traditions, much less our normal priorities.

But as we meditate on the coming of Christ into this world, we will find that this focus should not be in conflict with the ordinary work of the church. I believe that the wonder of Christmas should not only infuse our worship services, it should propel us toward greater enthusiasm for world missions.

Sadly, the Christmas season is rarely a time that Christians consider missions. We focus so much on home and family at Christmas that leaving these for the sake of the Gospel does not seem like a compelling option. But that is exactly what Jesus did for us at Christmas. He left his father’s side and journeyed into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place. Paul puts it this way:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death –
even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-8)

At its heart, Christmas is not a celebration of home and that which is comfortable; Christmas is a commemoration of one who left comfort for the glory of his Father. It is Christ’s example that bids us to leave that which we love for the sake of love. The baby born in Bethlehem is the same one who said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). He also promised, “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

We have brothers and sisters other parts of the world waiting to hear the Gospel. We are the means that God has appointed to bring them into his family, either doing the work on the front lines or by sacrificially sending others as our emissaries. This Christmas, I pray that your attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus. As you consider the Incarnation, consider that God may have other brothers and sisters in other lands that He is waiting to give to you. As Isaac Watts so faithfully wrote, “He comes to make his blessings known far as the curse is found.”

Site seeing:

Prayer Request:

  • My Brother-in-law has a couple of spots on his lungs. He already had 40% of one lung removed. Pray for wisdom as the doctors decide how to treat him, as well as success for treatment. (long term)
  • Margi and Larry, who have significant issues of health, and for their family during this trial. (long term)
  • Tim and Debby, as Tim is about to undergo cancer treatment for several masses found. Pray that he continues to improve and recover, and prayer for this family during this time of illness. (long term)
  • I have a sister and a brother who both struggle with substance abuse as well as another brother who has AIDS. (long term)

~ by thoughtcrime2 on December 22, 2005.

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