Let me share a heartwarming story that has inspired me, and I hope it will inspire you too. The parents, particularly the mother of two grown-up boys, are going through a difficult time. Their boys had a fallout and have not talked to each other for over a year. One of the sons hardly talks to his parents and consistently shows an angry face. Communication at home has become scarce.
“But Naaman’s servants came up and reasoned with him.” 2 Kings 5:13 Have you ever felt stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea? Have you been forced to choose one side or the other? Were you ever pressed between the cliff and the crowd?
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John's whole life revolved around the coming of the Messiah. Aware of his mission, he preached truth and repentance in preparation for the Messiah. But did he expect that imprisonment would bring an abrupt end to his public ministry? What did he think about being locked away in a dungeon without anyone to preach or baptize?
A priest who worked in Africa told me that he had once been invited to visit the family of one of his parishioners. He had been living in Africa as a missionary for more years than he liked to remember. He was returning to India, and the family had invited him for a farewell. When I asked what had touched him most during his missionary life there, he thought for a moment and answered, “They called me their ancestor.” They told him that he was to them as their father and mother.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Matthew 7: 24 We have just embarked on a wonderful time of the year. Let’s be sure to celebrate it to the full. That means living the first part: Advent! If we observe Advent first, then, when we come to Christmas, our joy will be deep and real.
Anyone who has visited ancient cities such as Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome, Athens, Sparta, Memphis and Thebes, is shocked at how immense and beautiful these ancient cities must have looked in the prime of their days. I have been blessed to visit Rome, Jerusalem, and Memphis – which is not too far away from modern day Cairo. I was shocked looking at the gigantic archeological sites and how big the buildings must have been.