Sunday, December 17, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON....Day 17

I want to continue today as look further at who JESUS is..........

Please listen as Priscilla Shirer describes Him:



Saturday, December 16, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON....Day 16

Who is this JESUS who we celebrate as the Reason for the Season??

Consider this:

In Chemistry, He is the One who turned water into wine.

In Biology, He was born without normal conception.

In Physics, He defied the law of gravity when He walked on water and later ascended into Heaven.

In Economics, He disproved the law of diminishing returns when He fed 5,000 men with 2 fishes and 5 loaves of bread.

In Medicine, He cured the sick and healed the blind without administering a single dose of medicine.

In History, He is the beginning and the End.

In Government, He is the Prince of Peace.

In Religion, He said that no one comes to the Father except by Him.

And...that's not all!!  He is infinitely more....


He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be...
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can't understand him,
The armies can't defeat Him,
The schools can't explain Him, and
The leaders can't ignore Him.
Herod couldn't kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, and
The people couldn't hold Him!
Nero couldn't crush Him,
Hitler couldn't silence Him,
The New Age can't replace Him, and
Donahue can't explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His
mind is on me!
He is my redeemer, He is my Savior, He is my guide,
and He is my peace!
He has invested more in me than anyone else ever
could or ever will~
He is my Joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!
If all others forsake me...
He will be here!
I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is
light, and His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
the power of the powerful, the ancient of days, the
ruler of rulers, the leader of leaders, the overseer
of the overcomers, and the sovereign Lord of all that
was and is and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this for
size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me, never forsake me, never
mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me, and
never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every
time, and every way.
He is God,
He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this
world.
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure,
understand this...
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and that means
all is well with my soul.
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!
Because He is, I am!

---author unknown


Friday, December 15, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON....Day 15

JESUS IS the reason for the CHRISTmas season..........BUT that is not all.



JESUS is the reason for everything!

Because JESUS embodies all that God is.  He is the visible expression of the invisible God.  The Father and the Son are one.  

JESUS is the reason we have hope.  "...the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope. I Tim. 1:1"

JESUS is the reason we love.  "We love because He first loved us." I John 4:19

JESUS is the reason we do not have to bear our own burdens. "Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

JESUS is the reason we are forgiven.  "He forgives all your sins...." Psalm 103:3

JESUS is the reason we have all we need. "And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:19

JESUS is the reason we can carry on because He will carry us through. "Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  Isaiah 46:4

JESUS is the reason we do not walk alone. "....never will I leave you nor forsake you." Heb. 13:5b

JESUS is the reason we have victory over sin. "But thanks be to God who gives us victory [over sin and death] through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Cor. 15:57

JESUS is the reason we need not fear death. "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." Psalm 23:4

JESUS is the reason we can love others. "We love because He first loved us." I John 4:19
  
JESUS is the reason we are kind.  "He is kind...." Luke 6:35b

JESUS is the reason we give.  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

JESUS is the reason we will live forever.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

JESUS is the reason we can have peace. "For He Himself is our peace..." Eph. 2:14


Yes, JESUS is the reason for the season, but oh so much more!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON...Day 14

I love buying gifts for those I love, especially when it is something I know they will be excited about!!  Even better when it is something they will not be expecting.

I love beautifully wrapped gifts.  Pretty paper, elegant bows...all designed to dazzle and tantalize.



On CHRISTmas morning, when we all gather around the tree, with packages spilling from beneath, what is it that you look forward to most?  Do you and you family ooh and aah over the beautifully wrapped packages?  Do you take multiple pictures of them?  Do you pull each one apart and get individual shots of each one from different angles?  Do you pass them around the room so each person can relish the beauty of each?  Because that IS the objective isn't it?  To admire the beauty of the packages and congratulate the wrapper on a job well done?


NOT!!  At least not at OUR house!  At our house we pass out the gifts to each family member and they can hold them and admire them until it is their time to open one, but that is when the admiration for the wrappings ends.

But let's rewind a bit.  What if on CHRISTmas morning, we gathered around the tree, admired the beauty of the gifts and then when we were handed our gifts,we refused to take them?  Imagine the giver standing there with their gift in hand, extending it to us, waiting for us to receive it, anticipating our joy when it is opened, only to have us refuse it.  Can you imagine??!!

Yet that happens every day with JESUS.  Every day He stands with His free gift of eternal life extended to men and women around the world, and every day His gift is refused by many.  It is the greatest gift anyone could ever hope to receive, yet they turn away.

John 1:12 says "To all who did receive Him, to those who believed on His name, He gave the right to become the children of God."  You see, contrary to what many proclaim, we are not ALL God's children.  Unless you have RECEIVED HIM as your Savior, you are NOT His child!  You must receive the gift that He is offering to you.  It is a costly gift.  It cost Him his very life.  Yet He loves you so much that He extends that free gift to you.  All you need to do is believe and receive.  God gave His most precious gift to each one of us.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

So this CHRISTmas, have you RECEIVED your gift yet???

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON...Daya 13

About this time each year the CHRISTmas spirit can begin to wear thin.  The crowds, the traffic, the scrambling for that last pair of gloves (que the movie SERENDIPITY).... One more dish to prepare for a party, more gifts to purchase and check off the list, 100 more things to do.



Maybe it's time to stop today and have a little JESUS.  Find a quiet corner where you can curl up with your Bible and read the CHRISTmas story in Luke 2.  Read it slowly and try to  picture it in your  mind.  Take time to savor the miracle of that night and meditate upon all that God accomplished for YOU on that beautiful silent, but holy night.  [Note: If it is hard to find a quiet corner in your home, sit in your car and do this BEFORE you go inside to shop]  

A few years ago, a friend gave me a very simple little gift as a hostess gift.  But I have used it every year since as part of my decorations.  Last year someone saw it and was so touched by it, she copied it and shared it at CHRISTmas with numerous others.  Today I share it with you and feel free to copy it and pass it along.  How can you GIVE A LITTLE JESUS today?


It reads:

Give a little Jesus, a thoughtful word or deed
an act of generosity for someone who is in need
Let's give a little JESUS to everyone we meet
the sales clerk or the server, the person on the street
Let's give a little JESUS, that's what really counts
Not what's spent or bought, for whom in what amounts
Let's give a little JESUS to everyone, large or small
for JESUS, the Messiah, is the greatest gift of all.

Giving you a little JESUS with love for the holidays.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON...Day 12

An old song came to mind a few days ago and it was so fitting for focusing on the REASON FOR THE SEASON.  Before that was even a slogan, this song was penned:


C - is for the Christ child, born upon this day

H - for herald angels in the night

R - means our Redeemer

I - means Israel

S - is for the star that shone so bright

T - is for three wise men, they who travelled far

M - is for the manger where He lay

A - is for all He stands for

S - shepherds came

And that's why there's a CHRISTmas day!



Monday, December 11, 2017

REASON FOR THE SEASON....Day 11

What is it about CHRISTmas that makes it so special?  It is definitely a different time of year...there's a different spirit about this season.  What makes it special for YOU?

To me, people are kinder....
people are more thoughtful....and people are more generous.


After all, are those not the things that truly embody who JESUS is?  JESUS is kind, thoughtful and generous.  In fact, he was so generous that He laid down His very life for us so that we could have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

JESUS freely gave to us, now let us continue by freely giving to others.  How can you give this CHRISTmas??  There are many ways.  

  • Find an angel tree, and choose a name or two and buy gifts for those
  • Donate to the Salvation Army 
  • Donate to other organizations that you support...Samaritan's Purse, Forsaken Children, Calvary Rescue Mission...the list is endless
  • Offer to do the CHRISTmas shopping for a shut in
  • Take your children or grandchildren and fill shoeboxes for Operation CHRISTmas child
  • Give of your time to sit with an elderly relative and just visit with them.  They get so lonely.  They would rather have your time than anything you could put in a box.  Maybe for you that is your own parents or grandparents..

I want to share a story with you that embodies the true spirit of CHRISTmas.  It is a little long, but I PROMISE you a blessing if you read it.  I think it will be one you will remember for a long, long time.  

" Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big            outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.  It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did  the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible; instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle or Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he' d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what. Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were  going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul             load.  Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.  After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood---the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I   asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow   Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."
           
That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of          wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to  pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a  big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.    When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of  something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Littl    Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning       I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
           
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried  to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, and then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?"           

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped  round her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit  the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

  "We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went  back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had       made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
           
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."  In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was             probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
           
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.  Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a            They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad         I still had mine.
           
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children  over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow         nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."       

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money a here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.  Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
           
I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.   For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night; he had given me the best Christmas of my life. "

------Author Unknown