Christmas Countdown 2020 Day 11


This morning I had several things to get done before leaving for work and one was to make ice cream. I know. My life is very grueling. Ha!

Usually I just mix everything and throw it in the counter top ice cream maker, even though the directions clearly state the mixture should be chilled at least 4 hours or overnight. 

It has always worked okay and I am usually in a big hurry so this detail has been ignored from the get go. Since I knew I would be rushed today, I went ahead and did the mixing last night so that I could run the churn while I did other things. 

After I processed the chilled ingredients this morning, I poured the contents into the storage bowl. I was delighted to see that I didn’t have to scrape the sides and lose a good portion of the product because it was frozen hard to the metal sides of the canister. 

It dawned on me that the super cold liquid had been able to move more freely as it was being processed. When I add the liquid at room temperature, it must quickly freeze to the sides. 


There was a good reason for the instruction and the results of following them made my work lighter and produced greater and better quality ice cream. 

So it is with most wise instruction. 

Today I am looking at one of the reference Scriptures tied to the Countdown to Christmas 2020 visit to 1 and 2 Thessalonians. 

The study notes in the Bible I am using led me to Acts 17:1-9 where I discovered some instructions on how to be an example to others in following Christ. 

You can read the passages yourself, and I encourage you to do so, but here were my three takeaways:

1. Regular attendance for worship to learn and study God’s word

2. Talking about the Scriptures with others

3. Recognize what it could cost me and others that I am a follower of Christ

Right now our attendance at church may or may not be in person. Each of us has to do what we deem right for our family and circumstances. 

It is not the same to watch the service online, and I want to acknowledge that. It is easy to begin to feel like you are watching a show and it might be hard to engage in worship when you are sitting in your living room with easy access to distractions.

 You can get up and refill your coffee, switch out the laundry, notice that pile of miscellaneous stuff over in the corner and pretty soon church becomes just another noise in the room. 

So I encourage you to really set apart time to “gather” even if it is virtually and engage in the worship service to hear and learn from the Scriptures. 

Next we see we are to talk about them. 

I talk to my Christian friends about a lot of things. 

News and current events, how I am feeling about a variety of things, our families, our upcoming activities, work…but do we talk about Scripture?

 It makes me cringe to think how little I actually talk to other Christians about things I read in my Bible or hear in a sermon.

 OH – I talk a lot on this slice of the internet. But Paul is encouraging me to engage conversationally with others about what is being read and taught. To ask each other questions and think through the texts of a book. 

I will have to commit myself to pray to be better at this in 2021. I want to apply this teaching and not let it just settle into the occasional class I might take and the group discussion that follows. This needs to be a habit of conversation subject matter for me. 

The last one is relevant to the times we are living in. As a follower of Christ, I am beginning to understand the cost of my faith to myself and to others. When I draw the line in the sand of what I will and will not cross over, things will get dicey. 

I have known people who lost their job because they would not comply with the policies that restricted them from sharing their faith with coworkers. We know people whose lives are threatened because they had received Christ and become His followers. 

I don’t say this to stir up controversy or to encourage outrage from our “by gosh we are American’s and you can’t tell us what to do” mentality . I am saying that it is sobering to stop and ask yourself what will you do if you are suddenly forced to choose between your faith and culture compliance. We don’t have to adopt a persecution complex, but we do need to be making our solid commitments now rather than when we are under pressure. 

These are good “instructions” that may seem time consuming, like chilling your bowl before freezing the cream, but in the long run we are guaranteed a quality outcome as we pursue the better way. 

Blessings on you all.

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