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Thursday, December 31, 2015

What Is Important In Your Life?

This afternoon when I turned on my TV I heard that a terrorist attack had been stopped in a area four hours away from where I live and just a town over from where my son lives.  

The first thought that came to me was "What is really important in to me." I do a lot of things, but do they really matter? They are good things but I decided that I need to spend my time reading my Bible more and sharing what I have read and learned. To love people better. And pray more for others. 

The Sunday School class I just finished was on the subject am I a fan or follower of Jesus. I have been a fan a lot of times. For my gift to the Lord for 2016 is the word sacrifice. So I will be looking up all the verses that I can use to help me remember that word and what action I can take. 

Have you ever given a gift to Jesus? Have you ever picked a theme for the year that has to do with living as a disciple? This could be the best New Year that you will have if you do so. Try it. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Nightmare

The Christmas Nightmare is part two in our series of The Christmas Scandal. 

Christmas is the scariest time of the year! If we look at Revelation chapter 12 it talks about a dragon, a baby, a woman, and war in heaven. These are the heavenly signs of Christmas. The real story of what happened the night that Christ was born.  

Revelation 12:1-9
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, the serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

What has all this have to do with Christmas you may ask. From the message of Pastor Bill Berkheiser here is the answer.

The Woman is Israel
The Dragon is the Devil known also as Satan.
The Child is Christ
War in heaven happens when Christ is born.

Spiritual warfare takes place at the time of Jesus' birth. Satan did not want Jesus to be born because if He was then Satan knew his time would be shorted. If Christ is born it meant the cross and salvation and Satan would no longer be in control of those who lived on earth. 

So it was not a peaceful night when Jesus was born as a spiritual war was going on between God and Satan. God wins and so Jesus was born as a baby so that He could save us from our sins and we could be with the Father and be born into God's family through faith in Jesus and what He did for us-His death, burial, and resurrection.

So even if we did not have lights, trees, gifts, there still would be Christmas because of the baby Jesus. Aren't you glad about that?

Have a very Blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Christmas Scandal

The Christmas Scandal is the title of a series that we are doing at our church. The first message was on Joseph and his feelings for Mary is wife-to-be.

 Let's look at Matthew 1:18-25:

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."

WHAT WAS THE SCANDAL?
It took Mary awhile to tell Joseph that she was going to have a baby and when she did Joseph was very upset. He knew that this baby was not his child. The thoughts that ran through his mind may have been, "How could she do this?" "I thought she loved me and God."

Joseph loved Mary and according to the Jewish law Mary had to be stoned. She was unfaithful to her husband. Joseph didn't want to make Mary a public example so he was going to taker her away and divorce her.

Can you blame him? He felt betrayed and he knew his reputation would be ruin. But a wonderful thing happened. While Joseph was thinking on these things he had fallen asleep and while sleeping the angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. He explained to Joseph what was going on and the baby was of the Holy Ghost and that he should take Mary as his wife and have no fear about it. 

When Joseph woke up he did as the angel said and went and got Mary and they were married and he knew her not until after Jesus was born. 

Thought
Our God is so good. He had it all planned out. His ways are not our ways and to me it seem strange that He would use this method for which his Son would be born, but He knew what was the best way. 

This coming Sunday we will have the second part of the story so I will report it after I hear it. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

I'm Praising The Lord!

It has been a few days since I have posted. In my last post I was having some issues in my life that I had to get right with the Lord. So it took a lot of prayer, soul searching, and listening to what the Lord saying to me. He used His Word, messages, and the Holy Spirit to show me His ways.

I am now on level ground again, not on a mountain top or in a valley but walking forward in a path of peace and joy. I am again singing and making a joyful noise. 

It was not an easy process and it didn't all come at once, but the Lord knew what I needed and I want to praise Him and thank Him for loving me and not giving up on me. 

I felt your prayers and I thank you all for them. I know that this helped also.  

The Lord is so good!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Things Can Change Quickly

The last blog I wrote I was singing and having joy in my heart and I was on the top of the mountain. Today it feels like I am at the bottom in a deep valley. How our lives can change very quickly.

Part of the problem is I am dealing with some things in my life that I need to change. I turn them over to God as I should. I pray about them, and think I have it settled, and then something will come up to bring the whole problem back. Do you every have this problem?

I know that the Lord will help me truly work it out and I just need to come before Him and let Him talk and I be silent. In Isaiah He is talking to His chosen people Israel, but I believe He talks to us today as His chosen people known as the Church. Here is what I read today and it helped a lot.

Isaiah 46:8-11
"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. 

I have a request and it is if you think of me at any time just pray. I want my life to be pleasing to the Lord and to His follower and I thank you in advance. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Beautiful Morning

This morning as I was reading my Bible I just couldn't help wanting to sing out with thanksgiving to the Lord as joy had filled my heart. 

I am reading through Isaiah and this morning I came to chapter 42. I underline and mark verses in my Bible and most of the verses are underlined or circled  because these verses mean a lot to me and I don't want to forget them.

The chapter title that I have in my Bible (English Standard Version) reads as follows: The LORD"s Chosen Servant. As I got to verse 5-9 I realized these verses were showing me who God is.

Isaiah 42:5-8
Thus says God, The LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the LORD; that is my name: my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 

Isaiah 42:9
Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them. 

The chapter title I have for verses 10-13 is as follows: Sing to the LORD a New Song. When I got to these verses it showed me how I can praise the Lord. 

Isaiah 42:10-12
Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.  Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitats of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands.  

Isaiah 42:13
The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. 

Questions
Do you agree with me that what better way to start a day is by reading verses like these? Do they excite you? I trust your day is made better by reading God's word.