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25 Days of Christmas Miracles

In Colossians 3:19 the Bible instructs Christians that we are to "sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in our hearts to God." Here at the Men's Development Center that challenge is taken seriously. At virtually any time of the day, the sound of rejoicing can be heard emanating from some corner or corridor of this sacred building. There is an inbuilt gladness attached to being in a place owned by the God Who puts sins behind His back.

The recent upsurge in our nation of a capella singing has found a home here. We could rival "Glee" at a moment's notice. Several months ago we began singing at our Noon Chapel service some of the familiar old hymns and camp songs. Without instrumental assistance, our men stand and let it fly. At times, we enjoy a vigorous round of "The Old Rugged Cross" or "It Is Well With My Soul" offered in beautiful harmonies betraying within our flawed flock a soul-deep love for Christ.

Today, only about 48 hours into Advent, our song leader for the day closed the time with "O Come, All Ye Faithful". My first reaction was to lament the notion that we had fallen into the trap being set for us by our culture's retailers. As several hundered men gave voice, however, to the heavenly call to "come, let us adore Him," I immediately understood that they were not forcing the issue or jump-starting the season or capitulating to the sentimental. I found myself almost overcome by the nobility of a great and glorious hope pouring out of them. These men meant what they were singing. To them Jesus is not a hobby, a sociological phenomenon or the mascot of the church. He is everything and He loves them. I do not know that I have ever been more forcefully invited or more honestly compelled to worship.

As I sing this year the wonderful songs that are anchored to the Christmas season, I will pray as I sing. I will ask the Lord to give me a penetrated understanding, an infused discernment, one which seems seated in the hearts and lives of our men, men who have thrown away, sqaundered or have otherwise lost virtually everything, yet who hang all on a miracle come to earth on Christmas Day. Star of Hope exists for the purpose of introducing the broken and loveless to Him. Their resolution to forsake the past and move toward eternity in adoration of Him is nothing short of awesome.

Learn more about Star of Hope and Christian Ministries Houston for the homeless at www.sohmission.org

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