The Briefing for Friday 12/21/2012

December 21, 2012 — 4 Comments


Today’s Scripture

“‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:34-38)

Notable Quotable

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons; it came without tags;
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store?
What if Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more?

- Dr. Seuss 

Around the Net Today

For This He Came (Advent Devotional)
Ken Miller (What’s the Story?)

Go Overboard Celebrating Christmas! (Excerpt)
Douglas Wilson via Denny Burk (

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at FBC (Announcement)
Tim Valentino (Ponder Anew)

Bethlehem Villagers Reflect on the First Christmas (Video)
Via Michael Bird (Euangelion)

Atheist Christmas: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth? (Article)
Phillip Jensen (The Briefing)

End of the World, or World Without End? (Article)
Roger E. Olson (Patheos: Roger E. Olson)

5 Questions a Parent May Ask When a Child Dies (List Article)
Paul Tautges (Counseling One Another)

Paglia: Art World Is Dead Because It Sneers at Religion (Excerpt)
Via Nancey Pearcey (Pearcey Report)

Biblical Imagination with Michael Card (Video Interview)
Michael Card with Philip Nation (

The Global Religious Landscape (Article, Infographics)
Staff Analysis (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)

On the Lighter Side

Today’s Cool Comic: Off the Mark (1-Panel Strip)
Mark Parisi (via

The Glory of Creation: The Science of Snowflakes (Video)
The Daily What (via Abraham Piper, 22 Words)

Kids Terrified of Santa’s Lap (Photo Essay)
Alex Wain (So Bad So Good)

Something to Ponder

Ruined Nature Now Restore

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

- Charles Wesley

Into All the World

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:16-18)


Thanks, and See You Next Year!

I am grateful for those who visit (or subscribe to) the Ponder Anew blog. While there is more content here than most people will ever access in a day’s time, my hope is that there is at least something of interest for everyone to read (or watch, or listen to). Thanks for your encouragement to write, and your suggestions to make this a more useful tool to keep us connected between Sundays.

For the remainder of this year (if the world doesn’t end today), I will be enjoying time with my family, getting ready for the Christmas Eve candlelight services, vacationing in North Carolina, and prepping for my various teaching responsibilities in 2013. Publication of “The Briefing” will resume in about two weeks. Posts for “Bits & Pieces” may appear occasionally between now and the New Year.

May you have a truly merry and bright Christmas. We’ll see you again in 2013 with more content to help you on your discipleship journey.

4 responses to The Briefing for Friday 12/21/2012


    Thank you for the words that you send each day. It is truly an encouragement to me as I read both the quotes and access some of the articles and videos.


    Merry Christmas, Pastor Tim!


    Hi Michele! Merry Christmas to you, too! Gosh, we miss you and your family! Your weather’s probably a lot better than ours, though! Tell Rick and Sarah I said hi! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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