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Friday, December 21, 2007
Sheep and lambs in snow
Sheep on a snowy hillside

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"Crippled Lambs"

"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners'" (Mark 2:17).

I have a lot of "favorite" writers. I suppose it depends on the type of material I am interested in. I read Chuck Colson for cultural analysis, James Dobson for practical advice on marriage and family issues, Jerry Bridges for sharp theological insights and many, many more. But for a long time my favorite devotional writer has been Max Lucado.

When we pastored Brooksyne always prepared a story for the children during the Christmas Eve service.  Several times she read a book by Max Lucado on Christmas Eve called "The Crippled Lamb."  She is a very expressive reader and I am sure there just may be some people reading this devotional who will recall her telling this story with all the little children sitting on the floor around her as she sat in a rocking chair. We turned the lights down low and lit many candles all through the sanctuary. My, how I enjoy Christmas Eve services!

The story reminds us that God has a special plan for each life in spite of whatever may "cripple" us. We may base the designation "crippled" on certain standards of what we perceive as normal and particularly apply it in a physical sense. Some certainly have a lot more overcoming to do than others. Some bear a heavy load that I can only imagine. But in reality we are all sick and in need of the "Great Physician" who redeems sinners. 

Let us rejoice in the truth of the birth of God's Son, Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save that which was lost. We are all crippled lambs, and regardless of whatever may "cripple" us or to what extent, God is able to redeem as we turn to Him and rely on His wisdom and strength.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, without the shed blood of Your Son, Jesus, we are weighed down by the shackles of sin.  It spreads as a disease from our hearts to our minds separating us from our Creator and making us a bond slave to Satan.  Thank You for sending Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God, who by His intense love and sacrificial death, freed us from the sin that ensnared us.  He turned our mourning into dancing as He lifted our condemnation and replaced it with eternal hope.  Thank You for the Christ of Christmas who shines His light for all to see and offers freedom to all held captive.  Amen.

New 2007 Weber family Christmas newsletter - We welcome all of our daily encouragement readers to read our annual Christmas newsletter.

The Crippled Lamb The Crippled Lamb  By Max Lucado / Thomas Nelson
Joshua the Lamb is crippled, so the other animals leave him behind in the stable. His tears of loneliness turn to joy, however, when he realizes that because of his difference, he gets to be right there when Jesus is born! From the classic art to the surprise ending, this tender story will help all children see that God has a very special plan for their lives. See here for ordering info.

Baby lambLast Spring I wrote another story about a lamb I observed that appeared to be crippled.

Resources for Christmas celebrations

It is our desire to share resources that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

Christmas Memories  Here's a collection of Christmas memories sent in by daily encouragement readers several years ago, along with an opportunity to share your own story. 

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Stephen and I have used this reading with great receptivity during  Christmas Eve services.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the tune and some churches have already exhausted the usual list of Christmas carols.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  

My First Christmas in heaven A poem Brooksyne shared two years ago in memory of my Mom. This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.

Here's a test for those who like tests!  
Christmas knowledge test

have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes with these posts, here and here.

Suggested Music

"What Wondrous Love Is This"  (Audio)

"You Give"  (Audio)

"Emmanuel, God With Us"  (Audio)

"O Lamb Of God"  (Audio)

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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