November 29, 2008

Live from Singapore! OK...sorry for the delay, our schedule here has been a little full...and I've have Holly and the girls with me in our hotel so time on the Mac is sparse. Thursday night at the famous Singapore Night Safari was simply spectacular. Wish I had pics, but we forgot our camera! The kids loved it...elephants, hippos, rhinos...and the fearsome Malayan tiger. I must admit, I was afraid the hyenas were going to pounce on us. You see, the Night Safari has no cages around the animals...with a few exceptions (the Tiger being one). The Assemblies of God conference here was really good...especially the night rallies. Today, we got to lead at the home church of the AG Superintendent. Really col experience. There were some AG pastors from Vietnam who joined us this morning...they had been at the conference as well. One pastor shared how for some 30 years the Church in Vietnam had endured persecution. He said that every Sunday they would end up being taken to the police station. Can you imagine? Needless to say, we were all really moved by hus faith and commitment to Christ. And we rejoice with them that they now have the freedom to worship God. How's that for perspective? Meanwhile, in my world of vanity, tonight, a really nice guy let me borrow his sweet silver Gretch and Top Hat amp so I can add some beef to the music and free Chad up to do what Chad does best. I'm not sure if it was because of the Gretch in my hands or the fact that was the last night of the conference...or all the youth that responded to Ross's invitation to fill the front...but the worship service felt great. (Not that it's about feelings, either! :) ) was fun showing the...
Absent at Advent: How We Miss God's Arrival This Christmas, as images of wise men and shepherds, and Mary and Joseph and animals and baby Jesus cover our refrigerators with all the familiar greetings of the season, what strikes me is all the people who aren’t part of the Christmas Story. No doubt you’ve heard sermons on the unlikely cast of characters who found themselves in the thick of God’s arrival on earth. Lowly shepherds who were serenaded by angels, wise men from faraway lands, and, of course, young Joseph, and his pregnant-out-of-wedlock wife, Mary. But what about all those who weren’t there but could have been or maybe should have been? The real mystery of the first Christmas is how people who were longing, praying, hoping, looking for the Messiah missed Him. Top on the list for me is Herod. Here’s a guy who hears about the star and all the prophecies about where the Messiah was to be born and yet instead of being remotely glad becomes insanely insecure…and then brutally murderous. So, who was Herod? His father was a weak, but brilliantly manipulative king and high priest When his brother took power from him, he eventually sought help from Rome, the rising power in the East. Each Roman leader—culminating with the great Julius Caesar—gave Herod’s father the sacred and respected role among Jews as High Priest. As part of his father’s ambitious plans, Herod was made governor of Galilee at only 25. Herod impressed Roman rulers with the way he collected taxes and suppressed revolts—two things Rome valued highly. When Cassius and Brutus murdered Julius Caesar, they allied with Herod, giving him a larger governorship, knowing that he could generate revenue for them until they killed Antony and Octavian. But when Cassius was defeated by Antony, Herod aligned himself with Antony and Octavian, instead, allowing...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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