Digital copies of 2012 and older editions of the PullenNews are available by request.
Archives for December 2012
Text: Colossians 3:12-17
I don’t know about you, but it is stunning to me that we have come to the end of 2012. When I was a child, fifteen minutes until supper seemed like forever. Now months fly by in a blur. This has been another eventful year, full of accomplishments and challenges, great triumphs and heart-breaking tragedies. Some of us have lost loved ones and others have added new little family members. In 2012, some of us gained clarity about the direction of our lives and some of us lost it. Some hate the thought of New Year’s resolutions and others find meaning in setting fresh goals for 2013. So what might we consider together as we are gathered on the cusp of a new year?
Text: Luke 1:39-45
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teacher and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and it is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” – Buddha
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” –Joan of Arc
“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Any belief worth having must survive doubt.”
“Miracles happen to those who believe in them.” – Bernard Berenson
“ And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by God.”
When I was a child, it was about this time every Christmas that I would start asking my father, “Dad, do you think Santa will bring me that motorcycle? Dad, do you think Santa will bring me that baseball glove? Dad, do you think Santa will bring me that remote controlled car?” Does it surprise anyone here that a baby doll was not on my list? Each time I would ask my dad if he thought Santa would bring what I had asked for, he would respond, “Nancy, you’ve gotta believe.”
Text: Luke 1:26-38
Several months ago I took Nora to New York City. A budding photographer, she had been asking me for some time if I could take her to New York so that she could take pictures of the city. For two and a half days we walked, taking pictures. On Friday morning we strolled across the Brooklyn Bridge photographing the beautiful bridge and the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. Friday afternoon we went to a place called graffiti city where she took pictures of an old warehouse covered with some of the most amazing graffiti I have ever seen. Who knew that graffiti could actually be an art form? It was beautiful.
Text: Luke 21:25-36
Sometimes I tire of coming to church and having to hear from the Bible what I hear the other six days of the week from the news headlines: word of how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Especially on this first Sunday of Advent when the story is supposed to be about hope, peace, joy, and love. Honestly, you ask and so do I, do we ever get a break? Why can’t we just talk about baby Jesus and of stars and shepherds and of wise people following the stars? Why not begin Advent by imagining the excitement of young Mary and Joseph as they prepare for their first-born child? Why not tell a sweet story of the promise of saying “yes” to God – of allowing something new to be birthed in us? Why do we have to begin this first Sunday of Advent being reminded of the distress in our world?
“People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming…” It’s enough to make you want to crawl into a hole and hide. There’s certainly enough in our world to make one worry. “The roaring of the sea” fell recently upon our shores in the Northeast. Those folks are still trying to recover. Israel and Gaza have a tenuous cease-fire, but only after over 100 people have been killed in bombings and rocket fire. Individuals and families are struggling financially and otherwise, trying to hold things together during the holiday season. Not to mention the news of our nation’s “fiscal cliff” that dominates the news headlines these days. Yes, there is much fear and foreboding in our world.