Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Right now our house is rocking! Two are working on a song. One is putting together a puzzle. Three are in the kitchen playing a game. Vicki and Candice are sitting and talking. And I’m working on this article. It will be wilder as the weekend progresses.

As I was thinking about things, I realized that things would be back to normal soon. Things happen all the time that cause us to look for those ‘normal’ times. It may have been a crazy time out shopping, a flat tire, a baby that was born, or possibly even a death that takes us out of the norm.

Some of you have been “out of the norm” at some point in your life. You might be looking for that day when things are going to be back to normal and you can ‘get on with your life’. I want to give you a word of encouragement as we come to the close of one year and prepare to embark on the New Year.

As we move into the New Testament things are still not normal. God used a virgin to bear His Only Begotten Son. Angels announced the handiwork of God to shepherds. Water turned into wine then bread and fish multiplied to feed 5,000+. A girl was raised from her death bed and a man was called from the grave. Jesus walking on the water, Peter struggling to be there as well, and a boat load of fish after fishing all night.

In the last week of His life He was heralded as a king entering the city only to be turned away later -- cleansing the temple to confronting the Pharisees. Called to stand before Pilate, sent to Herod and then back to Pilate. He was charged but kept silent before Pilate. He was stripped, beaten, crowned with thorns, and ultimately nailed to a cross. He was placed in a tomb before the Sabbath, rose from the dead, and revealed Himself to His disciples. He taught them some key things about forgiveness and obedience.

He stood on the side of a hill, commanded the disciples to preach the word wherever they went then was caught up into the air. The disciples were told He would return even as He went. Paul later shared that it was going to be a monumental moment when He returned.

He even had a name that wasn’t normal. The angel said “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin.” In Phil. 2:9-11 Paul wrote, “Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Sounds like anything but normal to me. It would seem that God desires to work in those things that are not normal. After looking at things like this, I’m more inclined to ask God to keep things abnormal in my life. I know God can work through the normal and often does, but I also know that He can do some really amazing things when things aren’t normal.

I’m going to pray that there will be nothing normal about what God does in my life this coming year. In fact, I may just pray that it be abnormal. But whether it be normal or not, one thing I can assure will be in my prayer – Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee, Take my will and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine.”

JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!

Christ only, always,

Bro. Paul