Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

By Res Spears Message delivered December 24, 2018 at Liberty Spring Christian Church 1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in … Continue reading Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men

Loaves and fishes in Peris

  I wonder: Did the boy hesitate, thinking the disciples must be crazy, or did he eagerly hand over his five loaves and two fishes when they told him Jesus wanted to use them to feed the hungry multitude? The feeding of the 5,000 is the only miracle of Christ that is recorded in all four gospels, and the account in the Book of John is the only one that mentions the boy: “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are … Continue reading Loaves and fishes in Peris

An afternoon in Peris

We weren’t even supposed to be there. If I still weren’t struggling with communication problems, I’d have heard the slight difference between “Peris” and “Carries” when our ministry team was making plans for the week, and instead of telling our guests — 16 young adults from Adventures in Missions’ World Race — that we were going to help with a house build, I’d have told them we were dropping into a community we’d never visited before to gauge their interest in the Gospel’s message of love and hope. At the very least, I’d have left my gloves back at home. … Continue reading An afternoon in Peris

The God of all of it

  As I was driving around Suffolk this morning, doing some last-minute errands before heading to Haiti to serve for a season under the ministry of Supply and Multiply, I caught myself paying closer attention to my surroundings than I might normally have done. There was the new development being built over by Bennett’s Creek, and I wondered whether it would be complete when I return home. There was the vacant nursery where we bought so many of the azalea bushes that surround our home. Will someone buy the property and begin turning it into something new while I’m gone? … Continue reading The God of all of it

Another day, just like all the others?

  What seems most surprising, in retrospect, is just how much like any other day that Christmas Eve must have seemed. Pressed against the very hinge of history – that moment when the King of Heaven would burst into the world as a helpless human infant – nearly the entire rest of humanity was going about its business, just as it had the day before and as it expected to do the very next day. In Bethlehem and throughout the cities under the control of Caesar Augustus, the people were returning to their homes to be counted in the census. … Continue reading Another day, just like all the others?

Letting go

    I’ve heard it said that we can never receive the full blessings that God has for us until we’re willing to let go of the lesser things we tend to hold so fast. The past month, since my announcement that I am leaving the newspaper business, has been a long lesson in letting go. Letting go of control. Letting go of position. Letting go of pride. At times, it has felt as if God was prying my fingers loose from these things, and I haven’t always handled the changes as well as I would have liked. Pride is … Continue reading Letting go

Get out of the pew

  I leave for a weeklong visit to Haiti this week, and the past few days have been a flurry of packing, shopping online and in stores for supplies my small group will take for the work we have planned there, scheduling projects and visits in the town of Montrouis and trying to get caught up on my work to the degree necessary to allow me to be gone for the week. I have a feeling I’ll be tired when I leave and exhausted when I return. And yet, I can hardly wait. Something happened to me in Haiti during … Continue reading Get out of the pew

Overwhelmed by hope

  Originally published March 26, 2016 in the Suffolk News-Herald Some days, it’s all just a bit overwhelming. Terrorism, insurrection and rebellion have spread across the globe. Innocent lives are lost every day, and families are left with the gaping holes of loved ones snatched from their midst. Divisive, bitter and disgusting political rhetoric either continues to widen the existing rift between people or simply shines a light that makes it impossible to ignore the division that already exists. One’s perspective on the matter is said to reveal his own prejudice. And while arguments ensue over who’s to blame for … Continue reading Overwhelmed by hope

Praying for the impossible

  For several months, I have been praying for something impossible to happen. I hope to learn this week whether it takes place. For the sake of this post, it doesn’t really matter what the impossible thing is for which I’m seeking God’s intervention. I am healthy, and this is not a life-or-death matter for anyone, so there is no need for anyone to be worried about the outcome. This thing I’ve been praying about simply isn’t something I have a right to hope for or expect. It’s not something that I could accomplish on my own power, and if … Continue reading Praying for the impossible

Springtime, and the possibilities are endless

Ah, springtime. I like to sit at the table on our back deck and listen to the sounds of our neighborhood. I do this all year long — even when it means I have to bundle up in layers against the cold of a Tidewater winter. But in the spring, there’s a special blessing, and I’m not talking about the layer of pollen I tend to bring inside with me when I’m done. Right now, the birds are twittering and squawking and chirping their various songs. A neighbor has just fired up his lawn mower for the first time this … Continue reading Springtime, and the possibilities are endless