I am in the Johannesburg airport again. I don't know how many times I have been here this year, but I am on a first name basis with one of the currency exchange agents! I have a nine-hour layover here, but after some appointments and shopping, I'm down to three hours. I fly all night to Amsterdam and face more layovers as I make my way home. This will be a long trip.
A Delta Airlines plane just went past the airport lounge window. I had heard that they were starting service from Johannesburg to Atlanta in February, but I guess they have started earlier. That gives me another option for travel to Africa and that's always a good thing.
I left Zimbabwe Monday after speaking at Celebration Church Sunday morning. I focused on another Christmas theme, this time choosing to look at the role the shepherds played in the nativity drama. The title of the message was, "Suddenly: The Sights and Sounds of Breakthrough." Since the church's theme was breakthrough for 2006, I thought I would wrap up the year looking at that subject in light of Luke 2:8-20.
Of particular note to me is the fact that the angels didn't appear to the religious leaders or in a religious setting. Instead they came to working class men who were working the night shift. The shepherds reported for work that evening the way they had for many years, just as their fathers and grandfathers had done. I'm sure they weren't expecting anything out of the ordinary. Suddenly, however, the angels appeared and their lives were never the same. I made several other points, which you can find in the PowerPoint slides attached below. I hope the audience enjoyed the message as much as I enjoyed delivering it!
I do hope you will spend some time this week reviewing and reading the accounts of Jesus' birth in Matthew and Luke. It's possible to get so busy during these hectic holidays that you forget the reason for the season! The reason is Jesus and the circumstances surrounding his birth make for fascinating reading and study.
At any rate, I have to shower and then vacate the club where I am typing this update. You can write your comments to this entry or give my readers your own insights into the Christmas story on the site where this is posted. You can also go there to read through my various entries for 2006. And don't forget my website, Monday Memo site and weekly Bible study site if you are interested in keeping track of all my writings. You can subscribe to any of those on the sites themselves.
Also, please remember PurposeQuest and the Stankos in your year-end giving.