Ray Pritchard’s Blog – December 2007

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Safer Than a Known Way

December 31, 2007

On Christmas Day 1939, King George VI of England gave a brief radio address to his troubled nation. England was already at war with Germany. Soon all of Europe would be plunged into the horror of brutal, unrestrained warfare. Hoping to calm the troubled hearts of his countrymen, the king offered words of encouragement as th ...

Christmas in Nanchang

December 29, 2007

Josh has posted a slideshow called Christmas in Nanchang. “The Father is doing BIG things in Nanchang these days.”

Dallas Seminary Offers Online Classes for Students in China

December 29, 2007

The Dallas Morning News says that students in China can now take online courses from Dallas Theological Seminary. The article begins by describing a course on Bible Study Methods taught by seminary president Dr. Mark Bailey. It ends with a frank statement about the reality of teaching the Bible with the approval of the Chin ...

2007—Looking Back on a Year in Blogging

December 28, 2007

Here are some of the most popular weblog entries of 2007. By “popular” I mean only that these entries brought the most feedback, not that people always agreed with what I wrote. In some cases readers disagreed strongly with some points that I made, which is fine with me. I am grateful to everyone who read this b ...

Life’s Grace

December 27, 2007

We received a letter from a prisoner in California named Rocky. After reading An Anchor for the Soul, he wrote a poem called “Life’s Grace” and sent it to us.This poem captures a sense of what it is like to try to live for the Lord in prison. There may be no darker spot on earth than the inside of a prison cell. That& ...

Father and Sons—My Christmas Gift

December 26, 2007

Nick, Mark, Ray, JoshAlthough this photo was taken at Mark and Vanessa’s wedding in July, I saw it for the first time several weeks ago. Marlene framed copies of the photo to give to the boys, and she gave me a large framed copy to hang in my study. It was a very happy moment on a very happy day.

Fifteen Sermons for New Year’s Day

December 26, 2007

Here are fifteen sermons with themes appropriate for New Year’s Day. Feel free to use this material in any way that may be helpful to you either in your own personal study or as you prepare to teach and preach this Sunday.Do You Know What Time It Is?You Can Stumble But You Won’t FallPeace, Be Still!When You Need ...

Immanuel and Islamabad

December 24, 2007

I just read an inspiring meditation on Isaiah 9:7 called Immanuel and Islamabad. If you are feeling discouraged this Christmas season, read this meditation and rejoice that the Babe of Bethlehem is the one true King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And of his kingdom there will be no end.

A Christmas Benediction

December 24, 2007

Here’s a wonderful Christmas benediction that John Armstrong shared a year ago. He heard it in church and then mentioned it on his weblog.May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ ...

Mr. Sam

December 23, 2007

This morning at church one of the pastors made a presentation to an elderly gentleman known affectionately to the entire congregation as “Mr. Sam.” The pastor began by noting the price of gas in 1952 (17 cents/gallon) and the price of a new home ($17,000) and the cost of a stamp (3 cents). He went on to say that Mr. Sam mad ...

The Bible in 50 Words

December 22, 2007

It’s amazing how simple some things really are. Take the Bible, for instance. At first glance, it’s an intimidating book filled with strange names, places we’ve never heard of, books we can’t pronounce, and verses we don’t understand. Even people who have read the Bible for years still have tro ...

News, Notes, and Random Thoughts

December 21, 2007

6:31 PM I just found a recipe for Chile Chocolate Almond Cookies. Seems like a strange taste combination. If anyone tries this recipe, let me know how it goes.5:47 PM Earlier today we received this encouraging email from someone in Hawaii: “I found your website after I Googled for writings about Proverbs 21:31. Your October ...

Do You Believe in the Virgin Birth?

December 20, 2007

The British weekly magazine The Spectator asked a number of notable people if they believed in the Virgin Birth. The answers tended to fall into three categories:Yes, I do believe it and here’s why.No, I don’t believe it and here’s why.I’m not sure or it doesn’t really matter.After reading the ...

Singing the “Begats” of Matthew 1

December 19, 2007

I ran across this video of a bluegrass version of the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Besides being very appropriate for the week before Christmas, it also shows that even the most unlikely parts of the Bible can be put to music. It’s only a little over 2 minutes long, and well worth a listen. (HT to

Alternate Endings to the Christmas Story

December 19, 2007

Keith Drury imagines some alternate endings to the Christmas story. Here is his list:1. A mom says no. What if Mary, had responded to the angel with, “No way—not with me you won’t!”2. A man gets a divorce. What if Joseph had done what everyone else did—dump this girl who was pregnant-but-not-by-him?3. A d ...

Where We’ll Be in 2008

December 18, 2007

I just posted our 2008 travel schedule as we have it so far. Other events will be added later. Next year we will be making a number of first-time visits, including to Bolivia, Czech Republic, Peru, and to Prince Edward Island, Canada. In February we will be in China visiting Josh and Leah. The trip to Peru is particularly e ...

We Won!

December 18, 2007

Several weeks ago I told you all about Steve Tanner’s 25 Days of Christmas Music. I didn’t mention that Steve was running a contest to see which website would refer the most traffic to his website. I’m happy to say that we won. Check out this website for the final results. You will note that the Crosswalk ...

My New Biking Jersey

December 17, 2007

Several months ago I received a nice note from my good friend Brian Choate. He and his wife Melodi relocated from Chicago to Las Vegas. Brian does a lot of street evangelism on the Strip, talking to anyone who will listen. When he learned that I like to ride my bike, he offered to send me a biking jersey from the Internatio ...

“The husband of one wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2

December 17, 2007

Last Thursday night at the men’s Bible study, we had a lively discussion about the meaning of “the husband of one wife” in 1 Timothy 3:2. At one point, I was asked to explain my views regarding divorced men serving as elders and/or deacons in the local church. My answer was simply that I don’t think this phrase ...

A Sermon for “Poor Performers” and “Splendid Sinners”

December 16, 2007

After writing yesterday’s entry, I decided to expand it into my weekly sermon, Good News for Poor Performers and Splendid Sinners. Here’s an excerpt:The very first thing the angel says is, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard” (v. 14). What prayer has been heard? No doubt he means the prayer ...

Good News for “Poor Performers” and “Splendid Sinners”

December 15, 2007

This afternoon I read a bit from Faithfulness and Holiness by J. I. Packer. The book consists of Packer’s short biography of J. C. Ryle, the noted British Anglican leader of the 19th century, and a reprint of Ryle’s justly-famous book called, simply, “Holiness.” I happened across this quote from Ryle’s cha ...

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2007

December 15, 2007

The folks at Merriam-Webster have announced the the 2007 word of the year, based on the votes of thousands of readers. The winning word is . . . w00t!That’s right. There actually is a word called w00t. Note the double zeros, which makes it seem like something out of science fiction, which isn’t far off the mark ...

Sheep Stumble, Swine Wallow

December 14, 2007

“Sheep stumble, but swine wallow. What we are may be difficult to discern when we are covered in mud. But our reaction to it, over a period of time, will tell us if we are part of God’s flock or the Devil’s herd.” John Ensor, The Great Work of the Gospel, p. 128.

FM Radio Religion

December 13, 2007

So what’s happening in the “worship wars” these days? Terry Mattingly provides one answer in a column called FM Radio Reality in Church, which describes how one megachurch in California manages to put together three “radically different services” each week. Conventional wisdom suggests that nothing divides a church mo ...

World View Wednesday

December 12, 2007

This morning I spent an hour on the air with Nancy Turner on WMBI-FM in Chicago as part of their “World View Wednesday” broadcast. It turned out to be a unique and inspiring hour. Unique in that it wasn’t really an interview at all. We spent the hour praying with listeners about what’s going on in the news aroun ...

Tupelo Weather Report

December 11, 2007

I’m writing this note to our many friends in Chicago and throughout the Midwest who are suffering through a very difficult weather situation. Stay safe, stay warm, and stay inside. What else can you do?Here in Tupelo the temperature right now is 72 with bright, sunny skies. I think we’re going to cancel school s ...

Interview on WMBI in Chicago on Wednesday Morning

December 11, 2007

I’m on the air on WMBI-FM in Chicago tomorrow (Wednesday) from 9-10 AM. I’m on with Nancy Turner as part of their “World View Wednesday” emphasis. You can listen online by clicking on the station link. And I know we plan to take calls. So I hope some KBM weblog readers will call in and say hello and make a comme ...

His Kingdom Will Never End

December 11, 2007

We have just posted a new sermon called His Kingdom Will Never End. Here’s an excerpt:Meanwhile the battle rages on between the two kingdoms—King Jesus on one side and Satan on the other. In these last 20 centuries, the light has spread until it seems like there are a thousand points of light chasing away the darknes ...

Robert Shaw Conducts the Hallelujah Chorus

December 10, 2007

Here’s a video of Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus in a stirring version of the Hallelujah Chorus:

WBCL Radio Interview This Morning

December 10, 2007

This morning I am being interviewed on WBCL radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana for a full hour, from 9-10 AM Eastern Time (8-9 AM Central Time). To listen live, go to the link above and then click on “Listen Now” on the left-hand side of the page.

Four Prayers to Keep Your Heart on Track

December 9, 2007

In a recent newsletter (pdf) Ramesh Richard shares four prayers that keep his heart focused on the things that matter most:1. If I shame your name, please remove me.2. If I squander your resources, please remind me.3. If I shy away from opportunities, please reinforce me.4. If I steal your glory, please restrain me.Ramesh t ...

A Fine Meal at the Yocona River Inn

December 8, 2007

Tonight we had a wonderful meal at the Yocona River Inn, an amazing restaurant on a country road about six miles outside of Oxford. During the football season, you can hardly get in on the weekends. Tonight we were the third group in the restaurant. When the meal was served, I prayed a prayer asking God’s blessing on ...

Anchor in Iraq

December 8, 2007

A few years ago we sent 5000 copies of An Anchor for the Soul to Word of Life in New York where they were bundled with a New Testament and a Quiet Time Diary. These Solider Quiet Time Packs were then sent to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We just received this report (via Wayne Lewis) from a soldier serving in Iraq:I j ...

Happy Birthday, Mark!

December 8, 2007

Today Mark celebrates his 26th birthday. Back in 1981 I was pastoring Redeemer Covenant Church in Downey, California (a Los Angeles suburb). Mark was born in nearby Whittier. Two years later we moved to Garland, Texas (a Dallas suburb) where I became the pastor of Northeast Bible Church. Soon thereafter we enrolled Mark in ...

Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned at Christmas

December 7, 2007

Here is a four-part sermon series called “Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned at Christmas.” It is based on the idea that every major Christian doctrine can be found in the story of our Lord’s birth. Please feel free to use this material in any way that might be helpful as you prepare to preach and teach this week ...

Songs of Christmas

December 7, 2007

Here is a four-part sermon series called “The Songs of Christmas.” Feel free to use this material in any way that may be helpful to you, including sermon preparation or in Bible studies, or simply for your own blessing as we prepare our hearts for the birth of our Lord.The Cradle and the Cross: Simeon’s So ...

Christ B.C.

December 7, 2007

This four-part series explores the Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Feel free to use this material in any way that may be helpful to you as we prepare for the celebration of our Lord’s birth.Born of a VirginA Prophet Like MosesLamb of GodSeed of the Woman

Why Did the Wise Men Smell Like Smoke?

December 7, 2007

Overheard in Sunday School last week . . ."Why did the Wise Men smell like smoke? Because the Bible says they came from afar."The class convulsed in laughter although I didn’t get it at first. It helps if you hear someone say it with a deep Southern accent.

Bangkok Women’s Prison Slideshow

December 6, 2007

In late September Marlene and I traveled to Thailand for ten days. We were joined in Thailand by Bill and Mary Jo Price of Columbus, Ohio. During our time there we met missionaries Charles and Lourdes Holmes. Lourdes has served in Thailand for forty years. A large part of their very effective ministry involves reaching out ...

Twenty-Five Christmas Sermons

December 5, 2007

Here are twenty-five Christmas sermons. You are welcome to use this material in any way that might be helpful to you as you prepare your heart for the celebration of our Lord’s birth. When Was Jesus Born? Overcoming LonelinessDoes Jesus Know My Name?Out of EgyptThe King Has Come!Dear Sarah: A Letter About Forgiveness ...

Does Jesus Know My Name?

December 5, 2007

We have just posted a new sermon called Does Jesus Know My Name? Here’s an excerpt:This is the ultimate answer to the answer to the question, “Does Jesus know my name?” In John 10:14 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” The last time I saw my father before he died, he was in the Inte ...

Should She Work Full Time While Her Husband Builds the Church?

December 4, 2007

The email arrived from somewhere on the other side of the world. It came from a person I do not know and described a most unusual situation, asking for my advice. Here are the particulars. A few years ago, this couple felt called of God to start a new church to reach immigrants in a city in Asia. Both husband and wife worke ...

Portuguese Edition of “The Healing Power of Forgiveness”

December 3, 2007

The Portuguese edition of The Healing Power of Forgiveness has just just been released. You can obtain copies from the following address:Editora Mundo ChristaoRua Antonio Carlos Tacconi 7904810-020 Sao Paulo SPBrasil

Christmas IQ Quiz

December 2, 2007

This morning in Sunday School David Langerfeld gave us a Christmas IQ quiz. Later I found this online version. It’s virtually identical to the quiz we took today with one or two slight changes. There are several very tricky questions, and one or two that we can’t be totally sure about. Try taking it first withou ...

Steve Tanner’s 25 Days of Christmas Music

December 1, 2007

Check out Steve Tanner’s 25 Days of Christmas Music. Each day from now until December 25, Steve will feature a new Christmas song that you can download. Here is part of his explanation:Starting December 1 through December 25, I’ll be posting a new song each day that you can download, no strings attached. It&rsqu ...

A Saturday-Night Reminder for Preachers

December 1, 2007

It happened not long ago that I had a Sunday where I was not preaching somewhere. And it also happened that I had had a hard week. To be more specific, I was grouchy and out of sorts most of the week. I knew in my soul that I didn’t feel things were quite right so I prayed that I might hear a word from the Lord on Sun ...

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