Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Having just celebrated the birth (incarnation) of Jesus Christ and realizing that, even of those of us who claim to be Christians, only a minority focused on Him, I began to reflect today on the upcoming transition to 2017.

Here is an entire world, waiting upon what it deems to be the push of The Great Cosmic Reset Button, expecting that “things will be different next year,” or “I’m really going to…,” when there is absolutely no logical (or cosmic) reason for that expectation.

So many folks tonight, are looking for the New Year to bring a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. They’re looking in the wrong place, or to be more precise, they’re not looking to the One who has already provided the one and only way to what they seek. They don’t want to hear it, but yielding their lives to God through Jesus Christ, whose birth we just celebrated, is their only path to that clean slate, that new beginning.


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My parents saved S&H Green Stamps.  You received one stamp for so much spent, pasted them in a book, and redeemed the book(s) for items in an S&H store.  Mom and Dad promised me I could make the next pick, for one book of stamps anyway.  We went to the S&H store in Virginia Square in Arlington.  “How about these nifty swizzle sticks?”  “We could use some new poker chips!”   I was, however, a bibliophile, and up on the top shelf lay a book!  I wanted that book.  It turned out to be a Bible.  My father asked, “What do you want that for??”  “It’s a book, isn’t it?” was my reply.  I got the book.  My parents weren’t exactly happy.  I tried to read it, but the King James put me off.  Though I had no idea of its significance, I found “The Christmas Story,” Luke 2: 1-21.  I read and re-read it, nearly memorizing it, but except at Christmas it meant nothing to me.  Perhaps it was a seed planted.  Perhaps it will be for you too:

(I’ve substituted the easier-to-read New King James Version.)

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord.

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A friend shared this on Facebook and gave me permission to share it with you:

I looked up our old house on google satelites because i was feeling depressed. I knew seeing it wouldnt make me feel better. But something in me just wanted to see the town and the place i stayed.

(It’s  not often i post on facebook and even rarer that i share personal thoughts or feelings on it. But i really hope this finds its way to you. It could change your life if you let it.)

As i scrolled around google, checking out the old town, i kept getting more and more sad. Its not you that i miss, or the things we had. I realized that what i was really looking for was Jesus.

Remember the day i got arrested? And remember that night after you bailed me out? We made a promise to serve Jesus for all our days. The months after were so rocky. You quit on your faith fast, but i never said anything. Im sorry for that. You stuck with me through my trial but we were both headed in different directions. During my court case God revealed to me that you wouldnt be apart of my life any longer. I was scared, and you were the only familiar face for me besides my brother. I didnt want to lose you so instead i held on far longer than i should have. Im sorry for that.

I found a great church, not the one i took you to, a different one. I had one amazing experience walking to that hawaiian grill we loved so much. The Holy Spirit took control of me and i began speaking in other tongues…on the side of the road i just broke down on my knees and cried and cried, speaking in a language i dont know.
I moved to nebraska, and then to virginia. Remember how i told you i would end up back here? Lol, crazy the things that has happened!

The first year i was back in virginia was literally the happiest i ever been. I had 4 dollars in my pocket and a smile on my face u couldnt wipe off. My life had purpose again, there was a reason to live.

Slowly though, pride crept in. I thought i could handle things that i couldnt. I began to do my own thing instead of seek council. I became a fool. My priorities changed. It wasnt all at once, very slowly my prayers stopped, and going to church became a chore. I stopped going for months because of the guilt i would get for knowing my life was out of order. I didnt see it like this though at the time.

In my eyes, i was a victim. I blamed God for not being happy. In my mind God stopped giving me power to obey His Word. I blamed everything but myself. And i searched for things to bring me a sense of purpose and completion. I focused on my career for a while, then life became about one person, then games, slowly drinking and then drugs, i tried to keep myself busy with anything as long as it meant i didnt have to face the music of knowing im not living right. If this sounds familiar to you, please i beg, do what i did.

Its been a work in progress these last few months but every day I am rededicating my life to Jesus. Its about not quitting. I worked so hard to hold onto my life only to create a life of pain and misery. Thats the best we can do without Jesus. We can keep ourselves happy for the moment, but dont know how to satisfy our souls. Only Jesus can!

So what i really was looking for on google tonight was that experience i had with Christ, i wanted to be reminded of where my life started. I wanted to revisit and relive the night He poured His Spirit into me. And He has proven faithful time and time again. He has poured His spirit into me, He has forgiven me of my sins. I am a new creature in Him. And this redemptiom is for all!!

Sorry for the novel. But u know me…always have way too much to say about something : )

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Backing up a bit to my previous post, there are two somethings else, very important, about God, before I speak of his character.

“In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1) (The triunity of God, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, is a study in itself, and, to me, wondrous and inexplicable at the same time. It will not be addressed here.)

Joh 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God and His Word are one.

So, as I relate to God on a daily basis, it seems that as I ingest His Word each day I am partaking of that same “food to eat” of which Jesus spoke: Joh 4:32 “But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.'”

The Word of God – not “my inner voice,” not “my feelings,” not my innate intelligence – is the most dependable source of direction for my life: Psa 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

Joh 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus was/is that Word, become flesh, and as I read and (more importantly) do the Word, the more like Him I become.

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We have had calendars, of a sort, at least since the one was made at Warren Field in Scotland. That was a lunar calendar, based solely upon the cycles of the moon. Solar calendars, and the requisite fiddling to align lunar with solar, came a bit later. Now, here we are, some 2,016 years since the birth of Christ (a significant enough event to use as a  time marker, even if scholars try to remove the thought of “Christ” from it), and most of the world’s people groups celebrate in some fashion the advent of another year.

With the coming of a “new” year, it seems there is something innate within us which is drawn to the notion of a new beginning, a fresh start, or at least that “things will be better than they were.” Why should hope have anything to do with the calendar? What are we hoping in? On what or who is our favorable expectation based?

If an individual’s hope rests in the thought that “I’ll do it right this time” or “Things will turn out better this time,” it is usually a false hope. Actually, it is, as Einstein said, insanity: “doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”

My hope is in God and the work He will continue in me. I’d like to think that everyone else is the problem, but if I examine circumstances using the Bible as a lens, I see that no matter what else is going on, I and my thoughts and actions are what need changing, even if the world around me is wrong too. Psalm 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Even if you can see where others have wronged you, or if circumstances have caused you pain or hurt, look into the mirror of God’s word first – apply it to yourself first – before trying to straighten out someone else. Matthew 7:5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

My prayer for the New Year and beyond is that He will continue doing whatever is necessary to ready me for His return, and that He will continue to grant mercy to those who thus far in their lives have rejected Him, and that He will draw them to Himself just as He did me, and as He continues to do.

Happy New Year!


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Resolution Solution

I always used to figure that since I wasn’t Jewish or Muslim, that by default I must be a Christian. Uh-uh.
1. You believe Jesus existed,
2. You believe He was, as the Scriptures say, born of a virgin,
3. You believe He was, as the Scriptures say, the Son of God.
4. You believe that He died for your sins.
That’s all well and good.
Think that makes you a Christian?
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!” (James 2:19 NKJV)
Start the New Year off right: Ask Him into your heart. Ask Him to take over control of your life (as if you’ve been doing all that great).
Receive Him as Lord of your life.
NOW you’re a Christian.

Now, get into the Bible and into a body of Bible believers so you can be built up in the faith. God didn’t intend for you to survive on your own; He intended for you to prosper and help others prosper.

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Christmas Is For Nobodies


But I was reminded that’s exactly who Christmas is for. The nobodies.
I couldn’t help but think about  the question my youngest asked before we left for the airport, “Is it Christmas everywhere? Even in Africa and New York City?”
Yes, Christmas is everywhere.
Because He came for everyone.
He came for the huge masses. He came for little you.

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