Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Every Morning

Lamentations 3: 22-23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Lord willing, a brand new year will arrive on Friday! Where did the last one go? It seems just a few weeks ago since it was New Year’s Day and here it is again. What do I have to show for the 365 days I spent in the year 2009? Is there anyone whose life was changed because of something I did? Or , God forbid, because of something I didn’t do? Did I reach out to a lonely person in a nursing home and make their day a little brighter? Did I listen to my child when he was hurting and only wanted to confide in Mother? Did I take time to go and visit my parents for no reason other than just to be with them for a few hours and enjoy their company? Did I diligently study to teach my Sunday school class of seven and eight year olds even though I felt I already knew the stories well enough to tell to children?

Did I show my appreciation to my husband for all the things he daily does to make my life better? Did I speak kindly to and try to understand the irritable person at the check out stand in the grocery store? What kind of turmoil or hurt might she be going through that was making her so hateful that particular day? Did I remember to thank God for the rain that we needed so badly even though I had just washed my white car and live on four miles of dirt roads?

Did I introduce anyone…anyone at all …to Jesus Christ last year? And if not…why not? I have a lot of questions to ask myself. I hope in this next year of 2010 that I will remember life is fragile…here today…. gone tomorrow…and that I will make the most of every moment the Lord Jesus gives me to spend here on earth. We don't have to wait until a "New Year" to start over, for every day that we wake from our sleep we have a new beginning. And with that new beginning a responsibility to be all that we can be for Christ.

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5

Happy New Year to Everyone!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men." Luke 2: 10-14

Last week I was thinking about all the stresses that go along with the worldly part of our Christmas celebrations. I made the statement to several people that I figure Mary was really stressed as she had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem being "great with child"! Traveling so far. Either on a donkey or walking part of the way. Arriving to find no room in the inn. Having to give birth to her firstborn in a stable. And yet today I'm wondering if I could be wrong. Could it be that because the firstborn that she held within her body was the Saviour, the Creator of the world, she may have had a wonderful peace through it all? I don't know. I just know that peace is the one constant that I have known since I was born again over thirty-one years ago. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 7

A few weeks ago my husband and I picked up our little four-year-old granddaughter to go with us to visit our church's bus route on a Saturday morning. When she is with us she likes for us to sing in the car. My daughter-in-law and my hubby had been discussing John 14: 27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." So not long after we got on the road hubby started singing, "Peace, like a river. Flows through my soul. I've been forgiven. Cleansed and made whole. Peace. Peace. God's Peace." Our granddaughter interrupted with, "Granddaddy! Please don't sing that song! I don't like it!" Hubby just laughed and said, "Oh, baby, this is a great song!" and proceeded to sing it some more. From the back seat came her little voice, a bit louder this time...." I SAID I don't like that song Granddaddy!" I asked her why she didn't like it and her reply..."Because I don't like PEAS!"... brought an instant giggle from deep within my spirit. Hubby tried to explain by telling her he was singing about a "different kind" of "peas".....that the peace he was singing about made you have a nice feeling all through your body and soul. Not daunted by his explanation she replied, "Well, I don't care! I don't like ANY KIND OF PEAS!!!" We laughed and laughed. Someday she will understand the difference in the two words but for now she just know she does not like PEAS! ha

Isn't that the way we as Christians are sometimes? God wants to do something good for us and we say to Him....NO! I don't like that! Not really understanding His ways and His thoughts for us! "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55: 9

I hope that each of us will experience His deep and abiding PEACE this Christmas. That's one of the reasons He came!

Merry Christmas my friends!

"Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 1: 2


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From the Cradle to the Cross

When I think of Christmas, the most familiar story of the birth of Christ recorded in Luke 2: 4-7 comes to my mind. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

What a Saviour we have that would come down from the realms of Heaven to be born in a stable, with a manger for a cradle. There was no room for him in the inn that night and later no room for him in the society of that day. Have things changed very much since then? We don’t hear very much about the early life of Jesus until he begins his preaching ministry just a few years before going to the cross to pay for our sins. But I am thoroughly convinced that in those thirty plus years of his un-chronicled life, he made an impact on the people he came in contact with.

He didn’t need to be in the spotlight to do every day the things that needed to be done. He knew what He was here on earth for, and each moment of each day was spent moving toward that goal of paying for the sins of sinful humanity on the cross. Finally the day came when the heavy cross was placed upon His back as he walked toward Calvary. (Luke 24: 7 “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”)

As He was crucified on that tree and lifted to the sky, then pronounced dead and placed in a grave, only to rise alive again three days later, He gave us the greatest present we could ever receive…..eternal life. The only condition is that we believe and accept what He did for us.

If we choose to accept God’s free gift of eternal life, then we will go to Heaven. (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16) To make it to hell, we only have to not believe. (“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3: 18)

There’s nothing we can do to pay for this Gift Christ has offered to us, but we can commit to living a life pleasing to Him. He compares this life to “taking up a cross”. (“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9: 23)

My prayer is that each person who reads this will have a wonderful Christmas this year wherever you are by rejoicing in the Gift that Christ gave to us as we celebrate His journey from the Cradle to the Cross!

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

(This post is also running Wednesday over at the KJV Blog Directory)

A few weeks ago my granddaughter spent several nights in a row with us. While making up her bed I decided to wash and dry a pillowcase I had made for her Daddy when he was a little boy. I used to always make specialty pillowcases for my kids. Tweety Bird print for my daughter. Sylvester for one son. Tazmanian Devil for another. Always cartoon characters. The pillowcase that I found that day was one I had made for her Daddy. It happened to be the Tazmanian Devil.

The fabric had become extra soft from age and being laundered so many times. I thought she would love sleeping on it. Little did I know.....

The last morning she was with us she told me she had had bad dreams the night before. That made me sad that one so little....she was not yet four at the time....would have a bad dream at Granmamma's house. I could not imagine what might have caused it. Later that day when I brought her pillow and a blanket from the bed so she could rest on the couch, she pointed to the Tazmanian Devil pillowcase and said, "THAT'S what I had my bad dreams about!" Oh my! Now I was having a guilt trip! Bad dreams because of Granmamma putting a scary pillowcase on her pillow! I had not thought anything about it possibly being scary for her. I just thought that she would like having a cartoon character pillowcase on her pillow. One that had belonged to her Daddy when he was little. I took that offensive pillow and put it in another room. And then I told her I would make her a new pillowcase for the next time she spent the night.

In a couple of weeks she was with me while I was shopping in Wal-Mart and we went back to the fabric department to see what they had to offer. She picked out some pink princess material for her new pillowcase.

Last week she spent the night with us. First thing she did after she got here was to go in the bedroom where she sleeps and look for her Princess Pillow.

She came out carrying the pillow under her arm and with a huge smile on her face. "Granmamma....you got my Princess Pillow done!" I could tell by the look on her face that she was delighted with it. Then she asked, "What happened to the scary pillow case?" I told her that I had thrown it in the garbage!

Instantly her little face lit up , she leaned over, hugged my neck and said, "Thank you Granmamma!" I was touched that it meant so much to her that I had provided a new pleasant pillow to sleep on instead of one that, to her, was scary

Sometimes there are things that come along that scare Granmammas! Stormy weather. Getting old. Getting sick. Watching the world turn more and more away from God. Seeing sin get a strong hold in a relative. Seeing sin in my own life. So many possibilities for scary things. I love it when God....my heavenly Father.....sees that I am scared and comes to me to comfort me as only He can. He can take my fears and fling them far over the horizon. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103: 12

He can put his arms around me and make me know that He is with me no matter what rages around me. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91: 4

I hope that I will remember to always turn and throw my arms around His neck and thank Him for calming my fears! And for giving me sweet, peaceful dreams!
"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4: 8

Sweet dreams!