I attended Bible College in the San Bernardino Mountains from 1991 –1993. My college was in a small town named Twin Peaks. It was a quaint little town surrounded by massive the pine forests of the San Bernardino Mountains. It was quiet. It was peaceful. It was the perfect place to meet with Jesus. I was shielded from the busyness of life down in the San Bernardino Valley. On the weekends we would want to get away from the quiet mountain town and we would cram into my friend Dan’s Toyota Corolla and would venture down the mountain to enjoy the coastal cities located on the Pacific Ocean.
When I finished college in 1993, I asked a friend to drive me to the airport so I could fly back home. This was pre-9/11 so there was no need to arrive early. You simply showed up, checked in and got on the plane. We started down the mountains about 3 hours before the plane was scheduled to takeoff. I figured this was plenty of time since the airport was only an hour and a half drive. I forgot to factor in the traffic. We were cruising along at a comfortable 70mph and as we were nearing the airport the 10-lane expressway came to a screeching halt. Suddenly it was bumper to bumper traffic. At first, I wasn’t too concern because the airport was within a few miles, and this was, so I thought, a minor hindrance. As clock moved forward our car did not. For nearly an hour we barely moved a half mile. I began to sweat a bit. It was getting really close to my departure time. Fortunately, at the nick of time, the traffic broke, and we began moving along just fast enough for us to exit. I made it to John Wayne International with only a few minutes to spare.
Hindrances can be so frustrating! The story I just told was an example of a minor instance of how a hindrance can be so frustrating and stressful. It is safe to assume that none of us like it when our plans are thwarted, and we can’t do what we want to do.
The Apostle Paul understood roadblocks. He understood hindrance. He knew about frustration. However, he did not allow these hindrances to stop him from doing what God called him to do.
1 Thessalonians 2:17 - 3:5
Hindered by Satan
Vs 17- 20: The Apostle Paul wrote about the persecution he and his companions faced in Thessalonica when they brought the Gospel to this Gentile city. He mentions that they were “separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you)” Paul was in the city of Thessalonica for three weeks and eventually the Jews became angry with him and started stirring up the people against him. A riot ensued forcing Paul and his companions to flee for their lives. He had to physically remove himself from the city leaving his beloved Thessalonians behind; but he kept them close in his heart. Paul resumed his missionary journeys, and he continually thought about the Thessalonians. He was only with them for three weeks, but he became very attached to this group of people and he missed them dearly. The separation that was forced upon them had created a deep longing in Paul’s heart to go back and be with the Thessalonians.
Vs 18: “We wanted very much to come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.” Apparently, Paul tried multiple times to go back to Thessalonica, but Satan put up some roadblocks that did not allow him to go back. I imagine this was discouraging for him. His heart was set on going back and encouraging the Thessalonians because they were the fruits of his labor and the working of the Holy Spirit. They were young Christians. Most of them were Gentiles and they had little instruction in what it meant to walk with Jesus. The Thessalonians were like his children that he had not seen in a long time, and he desired to go and be with them; BUT Satan would have none of that. Paul doesn’t give details as to how or why he was hindered. We can only assume that whatever it was it was not good.
“One possibility is that in view of the trouble there had been with the city rulers Paul himself was forbidden to return to the town, and nothing had happened to change that position. It seems that some unjustifiable criticism of Paul was abroad, and so he emphasizes the strength of his longing to revisit them and encourage them.”
He wanted to encourage the young believers and Satan did whatever he could to stop Paul from doing this. Paul knew all too well, as we should also, that Satan hates when believers unite or join together… Why is this? Because he knows there is power in unity in Christ. Beth Moore writes, “Satan throws his head back and howls when he can use small things to keep believers from uniting in great things for the (glory) of Jesus.” This is true. the Devil wants to keep believers isolated and alone because when we are alone, we are weaker and can be more susceptible to temptation. Therefore, Christian fellowship is important. I have spoken with people who say that they don’t need to go to church because it’s not church that saves them. I agree. Some have said they don’t need other Christians because their faith is a private matter. Others just don’t like being around other believers. When we gather as a body of Christ to worship our Lord, Creator and Savior we are given great power especially in the Spiritual realm. This unity gives us power to overcome the oppression of Satan in our lives. It gives us power to be the people God created us to be. There is power in the body of Christ and Satan hates it when gather together and he will do whatever it takes to hinder God’s saints from gathering together in the name of Jesus.
Vs 3:1 – 5: “and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ.” Paul was not going to allow Satan to destroy the works God did through him. He was not going to let Satan discourage these new believers. Paul may have been hindered but Timothy was not; so instead of complaining that Satan had put up roadblocks he sought another way to get to the Thessalonians. Paul would visit them via Timothy. He entrusted this journey to the young pastor. Paul calls him a brother and a co-worker in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was Timothy’s mentor. He was his Pastor. He was his co-laborer in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If Paul couldn’t come to encourage then he would send the person he trusted most.
I can imagine Paul’s concern for the Thessalonians when he left them in haste in the company of wolves. If these people were willing to go to the extremes with Paul, then there is no reason they wouldn’t with the new believers in Thessalonica. This worried him because he was mature in his faith. He had determined and believed that there was nothing that could separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. He wasn’t so sure the Thessalonians would be able to hold up under the extreme pressure and persecution they were facing. Paul told them that they would face persecution. He knew what they were up against, and he could no longer bear not knowing how they were doing. His concern was since Satan hindered him then he was certainly at work in trying to destroy the work of God in Thessalonica. For this reason alone, he sent Timothy to them in hopes to encourage and exhort. Ultimately God wins in this battle. Satan may have hindered but God got his way.
In this passage we see the heart of a man who loves people with a supernatural love. Having spent only a few weeks with the Thessalonians he bonded with them and had great love and concern for them. In this love he faces the discouragement of being hindered from encouraging the believers. For us today many of us face obstacles in life that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with him. I have come to find that there are three kinds of hindrances we face.
You may be thinking, “How can I tell if a hindrance (roadblock, shut door, the answer “No”) is from Satan, God or yourself?” I wish there was a nice an easy answer to this question or a simple four step process that is a fool-proof way of knowing. But there isn’t. But there are some tools and resources God has given us to help us decipher what is going on. I would begin with prayer and reading God’s Word. When we pray we are in direct communication with God. He is the one who knows what is best for you. Sometimes the answer is glaringly obvious that Satan is involved, other times it is apparent God is, and even more so evident when it is us, but it is important to approach all things in life with prayer and communication with God.
So, I wonder what things in my life are hindering me from following God wholeheartedly. What are yours? I think a good question to ask yourself is “What things in your life are hindering what God is calling you to do, or a risk God is directing you to take?” The answer to this question could be the things Satan is using in your life to hinder you from true intimacy with God.
The story of the Nativity is not the tale of the journeys of a young man and pregnant girl traveling to the town of Bethlehem. It is not an account of the hardships they faced when they could not find suitable housing, nor a sterile hospital to give birth. It is not the story of the shepherds and their encounter with angels, nor is it about the voyage of the Magi and the gifts they brought to the newborn King. It is not about lawn ornaments in our front yards or how we arrange our decorative statues inside our homes that depict the Nativity.
When all is said and done none of these are the reason for Christmas and the story of the Nativity. Does this mean that Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the Magi are not important to the story? Does this mean that it is wrong to put up our displays for all to see? Absolutely not! The characters are imperative to the story (it could not have happened without them) and believe it or not our lawn ornaments and decorations can help us share the Good News of Jesus Christ to our unbelieving neighbors and friends. But they are not the main point.
The main points of the Nativity are God’s act of humility and His faithfulness in keeping promises. Today we will see these two realities of the Nativity evident in our New Testament and Old Testament passages as we continue in our series titled Christmas Prophecy.
The Nativity: God’s Acts of Humility and Promise Keeping
Today we will begin in the New Testament passage found in Matthew 2:1 – 8
Matthew 2:1 – 8
In this passage we meet a group of men known as the Magi, or commonly known as the wise men, who came to Jerusalem. These New Testament Magi were non-Jewish religious astrologers who, from astronomical observations, concluded that the birth of a great Jewish king was at hand. After inquiring of Jewish authorities, they came to Bethlehem to pay homage.
The Magi originally came to Jerusalem to seek out this king who was to be born. They were familiar with the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah because it is believed the prophet Daniel was a prince and chief among this very class of wise men or Magi. His prophecies were made known to them; and the calculations by which he pointed to the very time when the Messiah should be born became, through the book of Daniel, a part of their ancient literature.
The Magi came to Jerusalem as they followed the “Christmas star.” They went to King Herod to inquire of this child’s whereabouts. Herod was unaware of this newborn King and honestly, he was quite threatened by the idea that a new king was born. Thus, he inquired of the Chief Priests, and they concluded that the King they sought was to be born in Bethlehem since it was prophesied in Micah 5:2.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
Bethlehem is a small town in the hill country of Judah, and it is most noted as the burial site of the matriarch Rachel(Jacob’s wife) and the birthplace of King David. Bethlehem was a small and insignificant village. Its biblical significance derives mainly from its status as David’s hometown. As the “city of David,” it was also prophesied as the birthplace of the future messianic ruler who would come as a new David.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.”
I am amazed when I consider the creator of all things coming to earth in human flesh. One would think everything about his entrance would be a spectacle and his birth would be heralded among all the nations. The truth is, everything about our savior, his birth, life, and death point to humility and serving others. Isn’t this really what Christmas is about? We are called to serving one another in humility and share the message of hope and joy to the world through Jesus Christ? Wesley Hill writes, “The mighty Son of God, who together with his Father, brought creation into being, subsequently designed to become a lowly human being-the equivalent of a powerful monarch being reduced to a scuttling beetle.”
Jesus’ life began and ended in humility. One would think when God himself came to this earth it would have been to straighten humanity out and set things on the right course, but it was much more than that. We do know that Jesus had a destiny. If you look back in Luke 1:29 - 33 you can see his destiny. The angel proclaims that Jesus will be great, and he will be called the Son of the Most High, He will received the throne of David and reign over all of Israel and there shall be no end to His kingdom. Before we can recognize Him as the King of Kings and Prince of peace, we need to grasp the humility of God in the flesh. While on this earth, He was God in the flesh living a life of humility showing others the path to the Kingdom of Heaven.
There is nothing spectacular about Jesus’ entrance into this world. Christmas begins with our Great and Mighty God coming in the flesh as a baby… a weak, helpless, and needy infant. Not a strong warrior, but a baby. He was born in this little town called Bethlehem and it was an insignificant town as Micah 5:2 prophesies, it is so insignificant that it is not even listed in the list of Judah’s towns in Joshua 15. Not only was he born a little weak baby in an insignificant town, he was born to a simple carpenter and a young teenage mother in a smelly, unsanitary cave. Then to top it off the angels did not proclaim the birth of the savior of the world. Instead, the proclaimed Savior’s entrance into this world is announced to a group of Shepherds. Yes, smelly, stinky, and insignificant shepherds! Don’t you think Jesus could have had better PR than that? Wouldn’t it have been better announcing the birth to the city of Jerusalem? No, God chose shepherds.
Ok, so he had a rather humble beginning to life, certainly things will get better as he gets older right? Take a quick glance at Jesus’ life and you will see the opposite is true. First, Jesus was tempted by Satan as an average ordinary man. You can read the account in Matthew 4. Why was he tempted? Isn’t He God? Couldn’t He have just told Satan to take a hike and got on with his life? Hebrews 4 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." He was tempted so he could sympathize in our weaknesses and yet show us that we do not need to give in to temptation. Why would a king allow this to happen if He didn’t truly love and care for his people? Secondly, Jesus was a carpenter from an average family. Mark 6:3 says the people questioned Jesus’ wisdom by asking, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. The leader’s question implied, “He is a common laborer like the rest of us.” All His immediate family—mother, brothers, and sisters—were known to the townspeople, and they were ordinary people. Thirdly, we see Jesus’ humility in the fact that He didn’t even have a home. Look at Matthew 8:20 when a Scribe told Jesus He would do whatever it takes to follow Jesus he responded, "And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”" He could have lived in mansions created for glory or even a semi decent house, but the Bible tells us that He had no home. Fourthly, there was a moment when Jesus accepted worship as a King however, it wasn’t as a valiant knight riding on a white steed parading into town as a victorious warrior. No, He came into town on a colt, a simple work colt. Fifth, he referred to himself as a servant and a servant King is what He was. In Philippians 2:5 – 7 it says, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." This tells us a lot about Jesus Christ. He made himself nothing and became a servant. How many leaders or kings do you know who practice this type of humility or even believe it’s their calling in life? Lastly, we see the humility of Christ in the way He died. He did not die of old age or die during battle as a warrior. No, He was crucified and died an excruciating, painful and dishonorable death. The fact that He gave himself over to death is an act of humility. He has the power to defeat death and yet, he became subservient to it. Yet He did this because this was the plan from the beginning.
God’s Promise Kept
“…Yet a ruler of Israel whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.”
Our God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. I love what Matthew D. Kim writes in his devotional, THE BABY KING, “God is a covenant -keeping God. And nothing will stand in the way of his promised miracle… God is zealous to keep his covenant.” We are told time and again that God is trustworthy. This should be comforting and assuring to all of us since the Bible is filled with the promises by God to His people. Among all the promises of the God our hope of salvation is based on the promises made by God. The prophet Joel writes regarding the last days that, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32) Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” We know these promises are true because God is faithful to keep them. We are also told in Numbers 23:9 “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” I take great comfort in these verses.
Jesus was born in humility and lived a life as a carpenter, a servant, who was tempted to sin yet not yield to it. He had no home. He was eventually hailed as the Messiah but on the back of a donkey. He was killed a week later as He hung on a cross. I think we can see and understand that our Lord lived a life of humility on this earth.
Today Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and will someday return as a triumphant King. He is the fulfillment of the great promise of God. He will come and save his people fro0m destruction and show everyone the way to life. Jesus shows that all who confess and repent of their sins and believe in faith that Jesus is Lord will not receive death, but life everlasting.
What does this show us today? As we enter the Christmas season, let us rejoice in the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ and humbly serve one another in the name of Jesus Christ. Truly seek out ways that you can serve someone in His name. I am not sure how you will do it, but it could be as simple as assisting someone who is less fortunate or buying a gift for a child whose parent(s) are incarcerated or dropping off some cookies to a neighbor. Be creative and serve others in humility in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Joy to the world the Lord has come. Let us rejoice and worship our King.
Today we are continuing our Advent series titled Christmas Prophecies. For the past couple of weeks, we have looked at various O.T. prophecies that point us to the coming Messiah. When I began the series, I mentioned that Jesus is evident throughout the Old Testament. It is chock full of prophecies regarding Him and His future redemption. We see, as far back as the opening chapters of the Bible, God’s prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. I talked about how that throughout Genesis God’s plans revolve around a collective offspring that comes from the line of Abraham: Jesus Christ. Throughout the O.T. we see the hardships, disappointments and challenges the patriarchs faced in barrenness (they could not have children) but through this barrenness God’s divine plan was not thwarted. He helps throughout, “it is God himself . . . who is responsible for the birth of the promised ‘seed.’” This simply means that the problem of making things right was on God’s shoulders, not mans. This Includes the birth of a nation, Israel, but more specifically the birth Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Give Peace a Chance
In 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged a one week “Bed In” protest in Montreal Canada to protest war and promote peace. When asked by reporters why they were doing this John Lennon spontaneously answered, “Just give peace a chance.” He was essentially saying, “Hey war is not fixing anything, so let’s try peace instead.”
Whether you are a supporter or fan of John Lennon’s message during his “Bed in” I think it is safe to say that true peace is generally preferable to wars and fighting. We want peace and we want to see all wars ended. I personally believe this cannot happen without God as the initiator.
But what do we mean by peace? So many of us view peace as the absence of conflict and fights but the peace we as Christians desire is one that is more than that, it is one that only Jesus Christ can bring and we will look at what true peace is and how Jesus Christ is the one who gives and brings true peace.
The Prophet Isaiah
Before we talk about peace let’s go back to the prophecy of Isaiah regarding the birth of the Messiah. Isaiah was an 8thcentury B.C. prophet whose writings and prophecies often denounced idolatry, disingenuous religious observances, and ceremonies in Judah. He was the one who witnessed the hem of the robe of God as it filled the Temple, and the angels proclaimed Holy, holy, holy…” He responds to the vision by crying out in repentance because he is a man of unclean lips, and one who lives among sinners. In this vision God asks Isaiah who would go forth and proclaim God’s message to Israel and he responds, “Here I am, send me!” (Isaiah 1:13). Isaiah is commissioned to go out and share the prophecies of God’s impending judgment to those who were in idolatrous practices in Judah and how only the faithful to Yahweh would remain. Isaiah also foretold the coming Messiah who would come and save all and is known as the Prince of peace and the Sovereign of God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 9:2 – 7). He prophesies about this ruling Messiah and how He would suffer under the hands of evil men, and He would be known as the suffering servant (Isaiah 53).
Isaiah 9:1 - 7
In today’s passage I would like to focus on verses 6 & 7. It was at this time God was not pleased with Judah as they had embraced idolatry. He speaks of judgments and amid these judgments he speaks about a future hope for the nation and for all.
Vs. 6: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us…” Verse 6 tells us who this coming child/king is. Isaiah tells us He is a future son who would one day be born, and this child would be the son of God. Isaiah tells us that the government shall rest on his shoulders that will be a just and peaceful ruler.
Some theologians believe this future royal child would be a human king born the line of David and he will be proclaimed the king of Israel and he will eventually lead Israel to a new level of freedom and prosperity. However, the designations given to this child and the description of his kingdom far surpass anything applicable or could be accomplished by a human king. Thus, we can safely conclude that the interpretation of this passage is messianic. We see this simply in his name titles. This child will have titles that denote his character. He will be a wise ruler characterized by wisdom (Wonderful Counselor). He is immortal as he has no beginning or end (Eternal Father). He will be a peaceful ruler (Prince of Peace). He is all powerful ( Almighty God.)
Vs 7: “His government and its peace will never end…” Verse 6 tells us who this coming child/king is and Verse 7 tells us how this coming child/king will govern and rule. He will be a ruler who promotes peace, and it is a never-ending peace. He will be a just and fair king and he will rule for all eternity. There will be no injustices, no corruption, and no inequality. He will rule in fairness and with justice.
“of his ancestor David for all eternity.” The divine King/Messiah will come from the lineage of David.
If you would indulge me and turn to Matthew 1 and note with me the lineage of the Messiah. In this we see the direct relation of Jesus to the throne of David. Thus, the prophecy spoken in Isaiah 9:7 is fulfilled in Matthew 1. Matthew 1:1-16:
Vs 7b: The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” In this context the Lord’s “zeal” or “commitment” refers to his intense devotion to and love for his people which prompts him to vindicate them and to fulfill his promises to David and the nation.
The Prince of Peace
We have looked at the prophecy of the birth of this coming child/king and we have noted the various titles given to the Messiah, we have seen the kind of ruler/King He will be, and we have observed the lineage from where he descended. Now I want to focus on the one title that gives us hope not only during our Advent season but in our lives in general and that is the title“The Prince of peace.”
Verse 27: Peace (shalom) – The peace Jesus speaks of has a deeper meaning than what we have come to know about peace in modern history. As I stated earlier, we generally think of peace as the absence of conflict, but this is a fragile and temporary peace the world has to offer. Again, those of you who lived in the 60s and early 70s are aware of the temporal and faux peace the world spoke about. The hippy movement spoke of peace, love, and happiness but everything about the peace (and love and happiness for that matter) rallied for was temporary, selfish, and disingenuous.
The shalom/peace spoken of by Jesus is a peace that surpasses all understanding and is rooted in redemption and salvation. This shalom is an inward peace, a peace of mind, and a peace in the security in knowing your future destiny. It’s a peace that comes when you know you have been forgiven of your sins, where you can lean on the promise of the indwelling of the Spirit, you can have security in knowing you are redeemed, you can fully trust that with faith in Jesus you will be restored, and you can have a sense of assurance in knowing whether things are going good or bad, in danger or safety, or in chaos or contentment you are safe in the arms of the Father.
Jesus not only leaves us peace, but he gives us this peace. He tells his disciples (and us) that we are to take comfort in this. He tells the disciples to not let their hearts be troubled or afraid. Yes, tumultuous times were ahead for them and after his death their persecution is going to intensify. So, Jesus says take hold of that peace (that is beyond our comprehension) and let it reign in your hearts.
We have this same promise given to us today. Jesus has left us with and given us his peace that is far greater than the artificial peace of the world. We are still living in tumultuous and uncertain times… With inflation on the rise, the tense political divides before us, and fear of not knowing what the future has in store and this is a reminder of our vulnerability. We are reminded that we do not have complete control over all things… In fact, we have very little control in our lives… Yet we should not allow our hearts to be troubled or afraid. We are to rest in the shalom/peace that Jesus has left and given us. As followers of Jesus, we can know true (shalom) even amid uncertainty, persecution, and turmoil.
Philippians 4:6 – 7: The kind of peace we desire only comes from Jesus and through prayer. The Apostle Paul tells us that Instead of worrying and being anxious about the things that are overwhelming or looming, go to God in prayer. Paul says, “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” This is another way of saying take your concerns to the foot of the cross and leave them there. Do not let your anxiety and worry consume you. Give it to Jesus and once you do, you will experience peace. Now, I realize it is not a logical peace. It doesn’t make any human sense because the issues that are causing distress are still in front of you, but when you give your worry and anxiety over to the Lord you gain a true and genuine sense of peace that is rooted in Jesus. When we experience this peace, it will guard our hearts and minds. This means that in those times when worry or anxiety pop back into our heads or our hearts we can be protected from worry because we are in Christ Jesus.
As we enter the third week of Advent let us focus our hearts and our minds on the peace that Jesus brings. When we look back at Isaiah, we are reminded that he was speaking to a nation who had turned its back on God, and all seemed hopeless. However, God is not a God of hopelessness, He is a God of hope. We live in a time of seeming hopelessness but let us not forget that all is not lost. We have a savior who is a Wonderful Counselor, Eternal Father, Prince of peace, and Almighty God who leaves peace and gives peace. We have a Savior who gives life. We have a Savior who "though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6 – 11)
The Lord’s Supper
 Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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