Three Nail Thursday (Christmas)

A Scripture reference that I read.

Luke 2:17–20 (NKJV): 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them

There is so much wrapped up in these few verses. On Sunday, while rereading them, a few words leaped off the pages just before our Candles and Communion services.

When they saw Him, it must have confirmed everything they had been told. After they had seen Him, they made known widely the saying which was told them. This still rings true today, you can hear a lot about Jesus, but something changes when you personally “meet” or “see” Him. Look through scripture and history, and you will see this common theme of people exclaiming the moment that they met Jesus. Often, Jesus would even direct people not to say something, yet, immediately they would “noise it abroad” the happenings of their moment with Jesus. Do you still remember your moment? Do you still tell others about it?

Those who heard it marveled. The definition of marvel is to be filled with wonder or astonishment. The stories of Jesus should cause an emotion that is filled with awe. I believe that every encounter with Jesus is a marvelous experience. Equally true is that when we convey the meetings we’ve had with Jesus to others, do they marvel? Far too often, we express the happenings of what we don’t like about the church experience instead of the encounter with Jesus. You can tell the difference simply but seeing if the hearer gets mad or marvels about what they heard. May we be filled with astonishment and spread that wonder and amazement to others. That creates hunger, and Jesus said, blessed are those who do hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled.

When the Shepherds returned, they glorified and praised God. May the encounters we have with Christ last longer than the church’s sanctuary. May our praise and worship continue long after the encounter. May it be said of us that when we returned home, we were still praising and glorifying God for the great things He has done.

A Song I am Listening too.

Chris Mcghee brought the house down with His rendition of “Mary did you Know” at Ushine. The song turns thirty years old this year. There is a lot of spiritual truth wrapped up in it. The scripture tells us, Mary kept these things and pondered them. The great experience and the wonder of the shepherds would come at the crushing of Mary’s heart. Mary was later told that the great day for others would pierce her heart with a sword. Even though Mary may have known, nothing could have prepared her for the experience that she would have. The birth was and is the only miracle of its kind. The Cross and the eternal ramifications of it, how could you prepare for that?

All of the things that Mary pondered and wondered about, we know. Because we know we should bring glory to the King.

A Quote that we should repeat!

Merry Christmas! We bring you glad tidings of Great Joy for Jesus Christ was born!

Joy to the World! 

three Nail Thursday 12/9/2021

A Song that I listened to.

“Angels We Have Heard on High” – Melissa McKinnies with SIWC Worship Band. From the SIWC Christmas Album “Twas a Holy Night”  (click to listen) 

This song written by James Chadwick is one of my favorites. It’s the words of the Gospel of Luke as Luke recorded the story of that “Holy Night”!
Heaven’s announcement to those shepherds living out in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks is a great truth that needs repeating. The most significant announcement in history was announced first to those that were the least regarded. The shepherds were also a great distance away. It wasn’t announced first at the palace; it was first announced in the pasture. It was a good tiding of great joy, and it still is. To those distant and the least regarded in our society, this announcement is undoubtedly still for you; there is a Savior who is Christ the Lord. However, it isn’t just for you; it’s to all people; hear what the Angels announced, there is a Savior born to you! Since He came to you and for you, we then pick up the song’s words that began with Angels, and we now sing, “Gloria, in Excelsis Deo.” which means “Glory to God in the Highest.” This song began by coming down from Heaven towards Earth, and now it’s from the Earth towards Heaven. Glory to God in the Highest, for we have “Heard the Angels Sing.”

A Scripture that made me think.

James 1:22-25

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

In verse 24 of this text, we see this line, “for he observes himself.” So the question should be asked in the season that we are in, what do you observe about yourself? Just beyond this Christmas season is where people make resolutions to improve their lives somehow. Meaning there is an area they have observed and found to be needing improvement. Therefore, they resolve to improve. 

More often than not, we look at the areas of our lives that we feel insecure about and work to improve those areas to elevate our self-worth. But, unfortunately, observing ourselves and judging ourselves has become a motivator for many, motivated more often than not into more insecurity. So, let me redefine insecurity from a spiritual perspective. 

Insecurity is often dissatisfaction with God’s provision. You are not satisfied with what God has provided to you or for you.

Insecurity is often nothing more than grumbling for better manna, just as the children of Israel did. 

We like them get tired of adequate nourishment; we want extraordinary flavor. We don’t like what God has given—money, position, appearance, personality and then we grumble for something better. 

We believe that something better will cause us to like ourselves or our life more. We believe that better things create confidence. This pursuit of confidence in the flesh ruins our view of God; it causes dissatisfaction with God and His provision in our lives. In our pursuit of “stuff”, we are displaying discontentment. Such discontentment is a snare of “many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Our dissatisfaction with ourselves and the “stuff” of our life is often nothing more than our dissatisfaction with God. 

Insecurity often reveals that our confidence is found in the approval of others. We want other people to like us, love us, and judge us worthy, at the expense of what God, and how God views us. God doesn’t care, what you drive, what you wear, what you have, or what you don’t have. We all know this, and we understand that. However, we still care! We care because they still care. We care more about the things that make us worthy of a like on social media than what will make us worthy to stand before Him. 

Improve your view of God, and your picture of yourself will automatically improve as well. 

Psalm 139

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;

When I awake, I am still with You.


A Quote that I read.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone; it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone at all.”

Three Nail Thursday

Three Nail Thursday - 12/2/21

A Song that I am listening to this week.

It’s Christmas time, even though the season has shifted from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I struggle to do so often. The calendar moves quicker than my mind. In addition, the Christmas season is a hectic season for churches and church staff. So I have to be intentional about getting into the Christmas spirit. So my first change is what I am listening to; the playlists change. It’s always amazing to me when I hear the music of Christmas, the shift that happens in my spirit. So this week, I began to listen to the tune of Christmas. One line of a song caught my attention. It was from the song “Joy to the World.” 

Here is a link to listen to Pastor Evan Milby, our worship pastor, singing this fantastic reminder of the Joy that should be in our hearts, for Jesus Christ was born.

 “Joy to the World” – SIWC Worship Band from the Album “T’was a Holy Night” click here to listen.

The line that caught my attention was “repeat the sounding joy.” In all that is going on in the world, what are we repeating? Are we echoing the sentiments of the negative, or are we repeating the sound of joy?

Make every endeavor to repeat the sounding joy this season and beyond this season. 

During Easter season, we see the ✝️ = 🤎 (cross equals love) 

During the Christmas season, we should remind ourselves that Jesus = Joy! Repeat that sound of JOY!

My Bible reading this week.

The song “Joy to the World” was based on Psalm 98.

1 Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power!

 2 The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!

 3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 

4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! 

5 Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, 

is6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King! 

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in.

 8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy 

9 before the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness. 

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 98:1–9). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Worship and praise for the joy that we have should be enthusiastic and joyful. Sure there will be those that ask for it to be quiet. They asked Jesus to quiet down His disciples. His response to that is in Luke 19:40, that if the disciples quieted down, then the rocks would cry out! 

Now is the time for the worshippers to sing aloud for Joy! 

Quotes that caught my attention.

“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”~ Oren Arnold

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” ~ W.T. Ellis

Three Nails Thursday (ThanksGiving)

Three Nails Thursday

A Song (Hymns) I listened to this week.

I so enjoyed the Hymn Sunday this past week at Southern Illinois Worship Center. I have listened to the worship service over and over (I’ve attached a video of a few of them below). I felt that it was a significant lead-up to this week of thanksgiving. The Hymns always make me thankful for the heritage that I, along with many of you, have in the Church of Jesus Christ. I also was grateful that so many new believers were introduced to the doctrines of the Gospel that came through the Hymns. Indeed, I am a fan of the new songs, and I equally believe that they root and ground us in the truth of God. However, the older I get, the events of the past four years of my life cause a greater appreciation for yesteryear.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful that I know who Jesus is, that I believe in Him and on Him. I’m thankful for the Old Rugged Cross and that this world is not my home. Further, I am grateful that I am not alone and that Jesus Christ has never left us, never will forsake us, and is with us.
Take a moment and reflect on the goodness of God in your life.
What are you grateful for?

A Scripture that challenged me.

Romans 1:21-25 NLT

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

There is a grave danger that happens when we aren’t thankful to God. We are in grave danger when we refuse to acknowledge God. People know there is a God but choose to ignore, stamp out, and ultimately try to extinguish this reality. Admitting that God indeed does exist, then I must surrender and submit to Him. Our flesh doesn’t want to acknowledge God; that way, we aren’t required to live as he desires for us to live. Sin causes us to suppress the truth that God exists; we head further into chaos and confusion by suppressing that truth. When we acknowledge God, are thankful to Him, we walk humbly and holy before Him.
On this day, I acknowledge that He is God and I am not. I understand that His ways are higher than my ways. His thoughts are greater than mine. He knows things that I do not know and sees what I cannot see; therefore, I will trust His ways and be thankful that He watches over me.
Be thankful for whatever he sends your way, for He has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11) for you.

A quote that made me think.

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” —William Faulkner.

Gratitude and thankfulness must be developed from the raw resources that you find. In other words, you have to look for it and then determine that you ill be thankful, produce gratitude. Once gratitude is produced, then discharge it, say it, express it, and live it. Gratitude is always the right attitude.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours!

Three Nail Thursday 11/18/2021

A Song I listened to.

It is well with my soul – David Phelps (Click the title of the song to listen) 

This coming Sunday is Hymn Sunday at our church. This old hymn is one that our worship team will be singing. It’s long been a favorite of mine. Here is the back story to the song. 

Horatio Spafford knew something about life’s unexpected challenges. He was a successful attorney and real estate investor who lost a fortune in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Around the same time, his beloved four-year-old son died of scarlet fever.

Thinking a vacation would do his family some good, he sent his wife and four daughters on a ship to England, planning to join them after finishing some pressing business at home. However, while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship was involved in a terrible collision and sunk. More than 200 people lost their lives, including all four of Horatio Spafford’s precious daughters. His wife, Anna, survived the tragedy. Upon arriving in England, she sent a telegram to her husband that began: “Saved alone. What shall I do?”

Horatio immediately set sail for England. At one point during his voyage, the captain of the ship, aware of the tragedy that had struck the Spafford family, summoned Horatio to tell him that they were now passing over the spot where the shipwreck had occurred.

As Horatio thought about his daughters, words of comfort and hope filled his heart and mind. So he wrote them down, and they have become this well-beloved hymn:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll—
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know
It is well; it is well with my soul.

My prayer is that each time you pass by the places of your trouble, tumult, trial, or tribulations, you’ll remember the words of this song. It is well with my soul! 

A few Verses to remind you.

This week, I wanted to give you scripture that backs up the great truth: when trouble comes our way, we can say; It is Well. 

“When Peace Like A River…”

Isaiah 66:12 (NKJV): Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.Then you shall feed; On her sides shall you be carried, And be dandled on her knees

“It is Well with My Soul”

1 Thessalonians 5:23–25 (NLT): 23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. 

“And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,”

2 Corinthians 5:6–8 (NKJV): So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV): 2 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known

Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, “I am ; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,”

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

“Even so, it is well with my soul.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;


A quote that challenged me.

It can be one day or day one; the choice is yours. (Unknown)

Hesitation and procrastination are the great enemies of accomplishment. We can say that we will do that one day, or we can make today the day we start taking the steps necessary to realize our dream. Then tomorrow, you can say, I may not be where I want to be, but I am not where I was yesterday.