December 24, 2018 - Upon a Silent Night

Upon a Silent Night

 

Was it quiet in heaven

O Father,

the night your Word

lept to earth

and angels followed

in countless number

to shout your praise

to shepherds –

 

silent enough 

to contemplate 

a quiet cross …

 

… and

the thunderous rapture

of all your homebound

children –

 

before the angels returned?

 

--Peter J. Mead

December 23, 2018 - Worth Waiting For

God’s promise is from long ago. Let us look forward to God’s coming and not settle for anything less.

 

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines stained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  Isaiah 25:6-9

 

The prophet Isaiah was encouraging the people of Israel long ago to trust God and to wait for their redemption. At the banquet of salvation Isaiah described, there would be no more death, no more tears, no more hunger. When we celebrate with a special meal on Christmas Day, we taste a little bit of the goodness close to us. When we believe in the promises of Jesus, death loses its sting.

Meanwhile, as we enjoy the good things of life—toys, computer games, new cars or houses—we remember Isaiah’s encouraging words and wait for the real thing, the greatest gift of all: the coming of the Lord our God.

 

Prayer: God of all celebration, remind us that we can trust in you both now and forever. Confident in the love that Jesus has for each of us,

Let us pray, “Our Father, … “.

 

 

December 22, 2018 - A New Way of Thinking

God teaches us how to live and gives us the strength to follow Jesus every day.

 

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,

to the house of the God Jacob;

that he may teach us his ways

and that we may walk in his paths.”

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,

and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations,

and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 

neither shall they learn war any more

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk

in the light of the LORD!

Isaiah 2:3-5

 

The coming of the Lord will bring an end to all war. This message of peace goes out to the whole world, even to those we regard as our enemies. Not only will all war end with the coming of the Lord, Jesus at this moment is instructing our hearts in forgiveness, generosity, and compassion so that we can live with our neighbors in peace. Every time we open our hearts to God in prayer, we come a little closer to the Promised Land of peace on earth.

 

Prayer:  God of Peace, show us your way. Help us to live in peace in our family, with our neighbors and even with our enemies. Guide our hearts in your way. Desiring the Peace of Christ for all peoples, let us pray, “Our Father, … “

December 21, 2018 - Jesus Loves Me - Randy Rogers

I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. 

(Luke 18:17)

 

            The story is told of a brilliant professor at Princeton Seminary who always left the graduating class with these words: “ There is much in this world and in the bible that I do not understand, but of one thing I am certain – Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so – and gentlemen, that is sufficient!”

            This hymn, without a doubt, is probably the first hymn that most of us heard and learned as children.  It also happens to be one of my favorites.  Many years ago, more than I am willing to admit, I had the good fortune of being able to attend a concert given by my friend, Bill Cooper.  Bill’s music is able to touch me in ways that fill me with the love of the Lord.  I think it is because the message in his music is basic and down to earth.  On this night, he performed an arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me” that was arranged by Bette Kron.  When I first saw the listing on his play sheet I thought he just used the title for another of his songs.  But nope.  It was an arrangement of my favorite hymn. (Turns out it’s his favorite too).  By the time he was finished singing, the tears were flowing.  We had an opportunity to talk about the song during one of his breaks.

            It turns out that we were both affected in the same way, by the simple message that is brought forth in the hymn and the memories of our childhoods.  You don’t have to be the worldliest scholar, or a great theologian.  You don’t need to memorize the bible word for word.  You just need to be pure in heart, like a child.  Accept Jesus into your life and live the way He wants you to live and He will take care of the rest.  “Jesus loves me! He will stay close beside me all the way.  Thou hast bled and died for me; I will henceforth live for Thee.  Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”

            During this Advent season as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christ coming to us as a child, let us take a moment and remember what it is like to be a child ourselves.  Think of the simple and pure joys that we have.  Remember the times when our biggest concern was not “How are we going to pay the mortgage?” but “I hope Mom let’s me play in the snow”.  This is the time to celebrate new life in Jesus Christ and to share the joy of His love with others. 

 

God Bless You All,

December 20, 2018 - I Stand by the Door - submitted by Annie Rive

I Stand by the Door 
By Sam Shoemaker (from the Oxford Group)

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out.
The door is the most important door in the world -
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There is no use my going way inside and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where the door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door - the door to God.
The most important thing that any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands
And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints; go all the way in -
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics.
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in.
Sometimes venture in a little farther,
But my place seems closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia
And want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled.
For the old life, they have seen too much:
One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door.
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.
Where? Outside the door -
Thousands of them. Millions of them.
But - more important for me -
One of them, two of them, ten of them.
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.

'I had rather be a door-keeper
So I stand by the door.

December 19 - Give Thanks - Amy Rogers

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ his Son.  And now let the weak say, “I am strong”; let the poor say, “I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.”  Give thanks.”

The quote above is not scripture. it is a hymn.  “Give Thanks”  #2036 in the Faith We Sing Hymnal.  This hymn is a beautiful reminder to say Thank You to God for all he has done for us, and it is one of my favorites.

          There are many times in life when we take things for granted.  We overlook the little things that help get us through the day.  Things like a beautiful sunrise, or the colorful fall leaves, the crisp quiet air after it snows, or even the people in our lives. 

            A few years ago I was talking with some friends and one of them said that many people pray asking God for help, healing, guidance, strength, and even material things, but don’t take a moment to say “Thank You” for all the blessings in their life.

  This got me thinking of all the blessings in my life, and I realized that I had quite a few and that I was so busy working, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, shopping, and all the other “things” that I was missing all the little blessings in my life, and I was not saying Thank You near enough.  So, I changed my priorities, I changed my job and work hours, I am no longer “obsessed”, as my husband says, with vacuuming the house every day and I focus more on the blessings in my life.

Now, my prayers start with thanking the Lord for being a part of my life and for the many blessings He has bestowed upon my family, my friends and me.  I also make an effort to thank those around me who may not realize that they are some of the “little things” I was taking for granted before.

 

During this Holiday Season, please take a moment out of your busy day to stop, and say “Thank You” to the Lord, and remember all the blessings in your life, because had it not been for Him, there would be no season to celebrate.

 

Thank you and have a blessed Holiday!

                                                   

                                   

December 18, 2018 - Light - Doris Bernstein

LIGHT

 Read John 1:1-14

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12

LIGHT! “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4).  Prophets foretold that He who would be “the light of the world” would come, and HE did.  Ironically, God sent His Son to be born in a “dark” stable at night. 

NIGHT! Stars! Moon! The light of God’s creation played a role in Jesus’ early life.  The shepherds were first visited by the “heavenly host,” when the “glory of the Lord ‘shone’ around them” (Luke 2:9) as they watched their flocks at night.  Then they visited the infant Jesus.  The Magi followed the light of the stars to fulfill their visit to young Jesus.

LIGHT! God sent His Son Jesus to be a light to mankind, to remove the darkness of sin.  For this, Jesus ultimately gave His life; however, what He told the people of His day, applies to each of us today.  If we follow Jesus, we “will have the Light of the life.”  We each can be a light to the world, reflecting the love and forgiveness for which Jesus stands.

 

Thought for the Day

How will I shine the light of Jesus today? 

PRAYER:       *HereIAmtoWorship 

“Light of the world

You stepped down into darkness,

Opened my eyes, let me see

Beauty that made this heart adore YOU,

Hope of a life spent with YOU.”

 

*Praise hymn/song

December 17, 2018 - The Perfect Gift - Randy Rogers

It’s that time of year again.  Time for hustle and bustle.  The gotta’s and haveta’s.  Gotta get the tree.  Haveta bring down the decorations.  Gotta make the plans for the party.  Haveta do ALL that shopping. Running here and there.  Crowds and sales at the mall.  And of course, getting the perfect Christmas gift for the ones you love.  You spend quite a few heart-wrenching hours trying to think of the perfect gift that will tell the ones you love how much they mean to you.  Will she like these earrings?   I hope he likes this coat.  

 

We become so stressed out during this time of year that we tend to forget what it is all about.  Randy Travis has a song that has a lyric in it that says, “Jesus had the birthday, but we received the gift.”   On that night in Bethlehem, we received God’s perfect gift in Jesus Christ. The only problem is, some of us have not opened the gift.  We may think we know what is inside the gift, but Oh how wrong we can be.  I speak from experience.  I thought I knew what the gift was.  The gift of the love of Jesus Christ.    “Yeah, I know Jesus loves me.”  But, it wasn’t until someone helped me take the love of Christ, put it on and wear it out into the world, that I understood the power and perfection of this gift. The grace and mercy that our Father has for us.  The One who loves us the most has given us the perfect gift.  And the best part is that it is ours to share.

 

So while you are out traveling and spending time with God’s loved ones this year, take time out to remember the perfect gift that God has given each one of his children. And share it with someone who has yet to open the gift and put on God’s love.  It’s the gift that costs nothing yet cost everything.  

December 16, 2018 - Encouraging Generosity - Sue Ketcham

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.  At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” - 2 Corinthians 8:1-15

DEVOTIONAL:

Throughout the eighth chapter, Paul repeats the word “grace” seven times. In this scripture passage, the word grace is used in the context of generous giving. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to follow through with the commitment they made to help the church at Jerusalem by following the example of the Macedonian churches who gave not because of their circumstances, but based on their relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

“It doesn’t matter how much you have. What matters is how much you are willing to give from what you have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12) This reminds me of the parable, The Widow’s Offering. (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4) The widow’s offering was a true sacrifice. She was most likely in need of receiving charity herself, yet because of her faith in God, she chose to give from the heart generously. Paul reminds us that there is really only one single motive for giving and that is the grace of God. This grace makes us exceeding rich, and because we have received it, we can give to others. As Christians we are not to give because we have been commanded or to get something back but because we have already freely received the gift of salvation.

 

PRAYER:

Heavenly and Gracious Father, help us to open our heart to others based upon our relationship with Jesus Christ, who gave us His amazing grace. Our giving will then come from the heart joyfully and generously. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

December 15, 2018 - The Christmas Guest

HE CHRISTMAS GUEST
(Helen Steiner Rice)
Grandpa Jones - 
Johnny Cash - 1963
 
 
It happened one day near December's end,
Two neighbors called on an old-time friend 
And they found his shop so meager and mean, 
Made gay with a thousand boughs of green, 
And Conrad was sitting with face a-shine
When he suddenly stopped as he stitched a twine 
And he said, "Old friends, at dawn today, 
When the cock was crowing the night away, 
The Lord appeared in a dream to me 
And said, 'I am coming your guest to be'. 
So I've been busy with feet astir, 
Strewing my shop with branches of fir, 
The table is spread and the kettle is shined 
And over the rafters the holly is twined, 
And now I will wait for my Lord to appear 
And listen closely so I will hear
His step as He nears my humble place, 
And I open the door and look on His face. . ." 
 
So his friends went home and left Conrad alone, 
For this was the happiest day he had known, 
For, long since, his family had passed away 
And Conrad had spent many a sad Christmas Day. 
But he knew with the Lord as his Christmas guest 
This Christmas would be the dearest and best,
So he listened with only joy in his heart. 
And with every sound he would rise with a start 
And look for the Lord to be at his door 
Like the vision he had a few hours before.
So he ran to the window after hearing a sound, 
But all that he could see on the snow-covered ground 
Was a shabby beggar whose shoes were torn 
And all of his clothes were ragged and worn.
But Conrad was touched and went to the door 
And he said, "Your feet must be frozen and sore, 
I have some shoes in my shop for you 
And a coat that will keep you warmer, too." 
 
So with grateful heart the man went away, 
But Conrad noticed the time of day. 
He wondered what made the Lord so late
And how much longer he'd have to wait, 
When he heard a knock and ran to the door, 
But it was only a stranger once more. 
A bent, old lady with a shawl of black, 
With a bundle of kindling piled on her back.
She asked for only a place to rest, 
But that was reserved for Conrad's Great Guest.
But her voice seemed to plead, "Don't send me away 
Let me rest for awhile on Christmas day." 
So Conrad brewed her a steaming cup 
And told her to sit at the table and sup. 
But after she left he was filled with dismay 
For he saw that the hours were slipping away 
And the Lord had not come as He said He would, 
And Conrad felt sure he had misunderstood. 
 
When out of the stillness he heard a cry, 
"Please help me and tell me where am I." 
So again he opened his friendly door 
And stood disappointed as twice before,
It was only a child who had wandered away 
And was lost from her family on Christmas Day.
Again Conrad's heart was heavy and sad, 
But he knew he should make the litte girl glad, 
So he called her in and wiped her tears 
And quieted all her childish fears. 
Then he led her back to her home once more 
But as he entered his own darkened door, 
He knew that the Lord was not coming today 
For the hours of Christmas had passed away. 
So he went to his room and knelt down to pray 
And he said, "Dear Lord, why did you delay, 
What kept You from coming to call on me, 
For I wanted so much Your face to see. . ." 
 
When soft in the silence a voice he heard,
"Lift up your head for I kept My word-- 
Three times My shadow crossed your floor-- 
Three times I came to your lowly door-- 
For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet, 
I was the woman you gave something to eat, 
And I was the child on the homeless street.
Three times I knocked and three times I came in,
And each time I found the warmth of a friend.
Of all the gifts, love is the best,
I was honored to be your Christmas guest." 

December 14, 2018 - Silent Night

"Silent Night" is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. The song has been recorded by a large number of singers from every music genre. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all-time.

The Link below was submitted by someone who recalled a version of Silent Night from their childhood but could not remember the words, so God provided “New” lyrics for him.  Check out the link and let the words and music speak to your heart this Advent season.



December 13, 2018 - Jesus, The Reflection of God - Sue Ketcham

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. - Hebrews 1:1-4

 

 DEVOTIONAL:  For centuries, God spoke to us through the prophets, but now we not only have direct access to God through Jesus but we can enter God’ presence as well. Jesus, who is of His essence, radiates the glory of God which means this glory no longer forces us keep our distance as it had done in the past. When you look at Jesus you see exactly what God is like. Like Father like Son. More importantly, because of Jesus we can become all that God intended for us when he created us and we can strive to become more like his Son, who is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Hebrews 1:3”

 

PRAYER: Almighty and faithful God, we thank you for your love and for making us in your glorious image. Grant that we may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory so that others may see your living presence in us. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 12, 2018 - With Man This is Impossible - Amy Rogers

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are Possible.”  Matthew 19:26

 

This is a common scripture that can be seen and heard in many different places.  I myself have seen it written on various gift items in the Christian bookstore and in several different catalogs. I have heard several people say this in response to answered prayers, or just when they come through a rough time in their lives. I myself have come to appreciate this particular scripture myself.  

 Over the past few months it has become very obvious that both my husband and I have, with good intentions, become over committed and are rarely home on the same nights of the week.  The weekends are even more jam-packed with obligations than the weeknights. Between work, family obligations, church, and other situations that just seem to pop up, we are away from home 5-6 nights each week.  About mid-October I came across this scripture and have been repeating it to myself whenever I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Well, my eyes have been opened to the realization that if you say it, and believe it, you will be blessed with God’s ever present love and guidance.  A few weeks ago, I was making a list of everything we needed to do around the house, all the meetings we had to attend, and all the other obligations we had committed to for the next two weeks before I went away on a weekend retreat. I prayed there would be enough time in each day to complete it all. 

 As the days flew by, one by one, meetings were being cancelled, appointments changed, the pile of laundry on the couch seemed to be smaller, and other household chores seemed to be easier and smaller then they originally appeared to be.

When I left to attend that weekend retreat, all the things on that list and a few that popped up unexpectedly, were completed and I was relaxed and ready to face whatever the weekend would bring.  I know that God’s hand was in this, because realistically, there was no way we could have done it all on our own, nor would I have been as relaxed when I left. 

  Now that the holiday season is upon us, many of us will feel the time crunch even more with added activities, and commitments.  We all need to remember that we cannot control time. There are only 24 hours in a day. We need to be more aware of our schedules and schedule time for our families and for God.  He wants us to be happy, not stressed, and over-committed.  

  It is my goal this coming to adjust my priorities and my schedule so that I can spend more time with my family and my Lord, and to be more selective when I take out my appointment book to make an entry. 

 

With God all things are possible,

Amy Rogers

December 11, 2018 - I See His Hand in It - Roberta Jaklevic

I see the sky.

Sometimes blue and clear

Sometimes grey, high rolling clouds.

I see His hand in it.

I see the waters of the bay.

Sometimes clear and serene, like a mirror.

Sometimes rough and rolling with crashing waves.

I see HIs hand in it.

I see myself.

Sometimes happy, content, at peace.

Sometimes grey, filled with doubt and fear.

Faith breaks through.

I see His hand in it.

The hand of the Lord.

December 10, 2018 - My First Christmas in Heaven

In memory and honor of all the saints who have gone before us.

May we keep them close to our heart.

My First Christmas in Heaven

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below;

With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular; please wipe away the tear, 

For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,

But their sounds can’t’ compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you their joy their voices bring,

For it is beyond description, to hear the Angels sing.

I know how much you miss me; I see the pain inside your heart,

But I’m not so far away, we really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me dear loved one, you know I hold you dear,

Be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift from my Heavenly home above,

I send you each a memory of my undying love.

Please love and keep each other and wipe away those tears,

For I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ all the coming years.

submitted by

Agnes & Heather Combs

December 9, 2018 - 'Twas the Night Jesus Came - Gary Kron

‘Twas the night Jesus came and all through the house

Not a person was praying, not one in the house.

The bibles were left on the shelf without care.

For no one thought Jesus would come there.

 

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

Not one ever kneeling or bowing a head.,

And Mom in her rocker with baby in lap.

Was watching the late show while I took a nap.

 

When out on the east there came such a clatter.

I sprang to me feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and lifted the sash!

 

When what to my wondering eye should appear,

But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here!

The light of His face made me cover my head

It was Jesus returning, just as He said.

 

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth

I cried when I saw him in spite of myself

In the book of life which He held in His hand

Was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name

When He said, “It’s not here” my head hung in shame

 

The people whose names have been written with love

He gathered to take to His Father above

With those who were ready He rose with a sound,

While all the rest were left standing around.

 

I fell to my knees. But it was too late.

I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight

Oh, if only I’d known that this was the night

 

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear,

The coming of Jesus is now drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call

We’ll find that the bible was true after all.

This poem was written by Gary Kron in 1994. Gary was a true Man of God and was called home to glory on January 24th, 2018. He is truly missed

December 8, 2018 - And My God will Liberally Suppl All - Barbara Cooper

AND MY GOD WILL LIBERALLY SUPPLY ALL

YOUR NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN

GLORY IN JESUS CHRIST

PHIL. 4:19 AB

Many years ago when our six children were very young, it seemed we were always struggling financially to make ends meet.  My husband decided to make the Navy his career and contrary to what people think, our income did not increase with each child.  We had six but never did we go hungry or feel “poor”.

 One Christmas season I got a part time job in a local department store.  I would care for the children during the day, prepare dinner and walk out the door as my husband was walking in.  During this time I managed to “lay away” two bicycles for the older boys.  Christmas morning after the gifts had been opened, I asked the younger of the two boys to go to the utility room and get some flash bulbs for me.  He discovered the bikes and came running in, threw his arms around me and asked “Oh mom did you have to charge them?”  I said No, God provided a way.”  Not only was I delighted to know that he was happy with the bikes but, I was more impressed with his concern as to whether we could afford them.

 More than once through the struggling years, God had and still is providing.  It is not only monetarily that he has provided, but in so many other ways.  He has shown his love in countless ways, some I am not even aware of until I realize that once again he shows his love.

 We serve an awesome God!!  This Christmas season take a good long look at what God has provided for you and thank Him.

 

Heavenly Father help us to see all that you do for us without us even having to ask.  Teach us to know the difference between “wants” and “needs”.  Instill in us a grateful heart especially for your son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

December 7, 2018 - The Forgotten Gift - Randy Rogers

Deck the hall with boughs of Holly. Falalalala lalalala

Tis the season to be jolly Falalalala, lalalala

Don we now our gay apparel Falala lalala,lalalala

Troll the ancient yuletide carol Falalalala lalalala

BAH HUMBUG!!!!

Deck the halls with boughs of Holly and Christmas trees and garland and lights which never light up and if they do as soon as you put ‘em up…..one goes out THEY ALL GO OUT!!  Then the needles falling off the tree clogging the vacuum cleaner and the dog drinking the water from the reservoir causing the tree to dry out. I’ll give you Fa la la la la.  Tis the season to be jolly? Not with all the traipsing around from here to there and everywhere.  Have to be here at 5:00 there at 8:00.  Why?  We never see these people any other time of the year.  Fa la la la la.

Don we now our gay apparel…..yeah, right.  After all we ate last Christmas season, our gay apparel sure ain’t gonna fit and even if it does….IT WON’T FOR LONG…..Fa la la la la.  And speaking of trolling the ancient yuletide carol, who uses words like trolling……OH YEAH, that’s right.  It’s an ANCIENT carol….Can’t somebody come up with something new?

Well, I guess I better Fa la la la la get started moving these boxes.  Hey…..Now here’s something I haven’t seen in almost a year.  I remember wearing it last year.  Maybe I should put it on again.  I forgot I even had it…..Still fits and boy it sure is warm and comforting.  Kinda makes my heart glow…..makes me want to sing…….Sing we joyous all together. FA LA LA, LA LA LA, LA LA LA………

The Gift of Love came down at Christmas, but it’s not just a gift for the season.  It’s a gift for today, tomorrow and all the ages.  Let it not be the forgotten gift.  PUT IT ON…wear the love of Christ each and every day.  Take his love with you where ever you may go every day of your life.  Remember that Jesus is not just the reason for the season, JESUS IS THE REASON.!

Prayer : Heavenly Father as we enter this season of preparation, let us prepare our hearts by focusing on the never ending love you have for each and everyone one of us this day and the next and the next and the next…….Amen

December 6, 2018 - Last of the Tomatoes - Annie Rive

Ecclesiastes 3:  To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted

THE LAST OF THE TOMATOES

It was April 1st and it was SNOWING! Bad April fool’s joke, I thought.  I felt there would NEVER be spring, green grass, daffodils or leaves on the trees – Just eternal winter!

I bought two tiny “Siberian” cherry tomato plants anyway. A few days later in April, I planted them in a container on my back porch and watered them in my usual haphazard manner. They started to grow!  Encouraged, I added special fertilizer for tomatoes and they grew more.  I needed to add a little tomato cage and shortly there after an additional trellis. Little yellow flowers turned into sweet vine ripened cherry tomatoes – six or seven perfect ones every day. Then twenty or thirty every day! The vine spilled over the porch railing. I brought the tomatoes to work, we ate them as snacks.

It has been almost 6 months now that I have enjoyed the bounty provided by these two tiny plants, but every day the yield is smaller and smaller – just three today.

I am reminded of my mother when I am tempted to complain that winter is coming and these are the last of the tomatoes.

My Mom could never figure out why people cried when they lost a loved one – she understood in her head AND heart that every child that’s born will eventually experience a mortal death as part of the human condition.  She accepted the terms of mortality.  She felt that when you are given any special gift you should give thanks for what you had, not complain that you didn’t have it long enough! Everything has a season!

Dear Lord:  Let me understand in my head and in my heart, too, that everything has a season, and that gratitude for every gift opens me to receive new gifts from a new season.  AMEN

December 5, 2018 - The Light - Unknown

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.  Isaiah 9:2 

Brilliant displays of fireworks in the night sky never fail to dazzle. At His birth and through the years of His earthly ministry Christ was responsible for a number of “light shows”! Do you remember them?

 As the angel appeared to the shepherds, “the glory of the Lord shown around them and they were terribly frightened” (Lk. 2:9). But they recovered enough to go and tell the good news.

 The magi saw a star and “rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matt. 2:10) They put time and money into making a trip into finding its meaning. 

It was Jesus Himself who said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life” (Jn. 8:12). The religious leaders of Jesus’ day flatly rejected such claims.

 On the Mount of Transfiguration, “The appearance of Jesus’ face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightening” (Lk. 9:29). But Peter talked about building huts instead of bowing in worship.

To this day, some people don’t know what to do with the light of Christ. The blazing light of His holiness exposes the vile darkness of the world, those who love darkness put on the sunglasses of the world to screen it out and protect them from its power. On those who love the Lord, the prophet Isaiah says, hat light will shine, scattering the darkness. 

How about you? Do you welcome this divine light show, which exposes the darkness in this world and in your life? Are you worshiping this One who is the Light of the World, who offers you the opportunity to walk in the light?

  

Prayer: Lord, let me be like those who saw the light of the star and “rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” In Your light I can see, and what I see is Your good news overcoming my darkness.